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GAF Photography 2008 - Q4

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mrkgoo

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New quarter, new thread.

Man, it's the last quarter of the year!

Old Threads:

2008 - Q3
2008 - Q2
2008 - Q1
2007 - Q4
2007 - Q3
2007 - Q2
2007 - Q1

I'll start by posting some Japanese toys. (Click for larger)
Sorry I don't have anything more flash (I had a bunch about a week ago in the Q3 thread).





And for fairness' sake, here are the last couple of posts from the older thread:

BlueTsunami said:
Went to a Wedding last Friday in New York City, here are some artsy shots...









Pizza Luigi said:
Some pictures taken on the beach:





 

BlueTsunami

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Welp, I just tried Canons DPP again to process some RAW files and now that I actually know what I'm doing... I was surprised at how much better the whole process is in regards to the final IQ of the processed RAW file. Sharpening, Contrast and Exposure seem to just look better when manipulated in DPP...

Here's one of the pictures I used to manipulate in DPP (taken this morning)...



I remember messing with DPP when I first got my XT and thought nothing of it. Now that I've seen what Lightroom and Photoshop produces and actually know what I'm doing when I mess with Curves and other functions, its DPP all the way (unless I've got a huge workflow to deal with, then its Lightroom).

Oh and... god help me the 85L has caught my eye... ARGHHHHH
 
OK so I got a new lens today. The new Tamron 18-270 VC for canon.
It's not for pro work obviously. But it is an amazing little lens. The quality is great, sharp, focus is dead on so far. Also the VC works so well, I'm taking shots at the very far 270mm end and I am getting NO hand shake at all. Very happy.

Anyway, these below shots were taken with the lens today just before the light left the day. They are all stitched together from about 4 or 5 shots each.

If you look in the 2nd and 3rd shot you can see the same area but its zoomed in the 2nd shot.







 

BlueTsunami

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That sounds like a sick travel lens, samusx.

Here's a shot I took this morning. I tried to incorporate the morning light but also the sharp drop off into shadow on the right (really brings out the highlights). Came up with this...

 

Shiggie

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You guys are awesome!
I should be taking more pictures on my DSLR to get used to it but my intro photo class is BW film so ive been kinda focused on film so far.

I didn't edit this. That woman is kinda distracting.
I really like her now that I look at it more.
 

Brobzoid

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don't have any pictures, but a question: If I want to go out and take pictures when it's raining heavily, how do I keep my camera out of harms way? put a plastic bag around it - exposing only the lense? It's a canon 350D btw.
 

BlueTsunami

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Brobzoid said:
don't have any pictures, but a question: If I want to go out and take pictures when it's raining heavily, how do I keep my camera out of harms way? put a plastic bag around it - exposing only the lense? It's a canon 350D btw.
I have that same camera and yeah, putting a sandwich bag around it seems to be what photogs do in this situation. The only awkward thing would be that the front element of the lens might be exposed and water could seep in there.
 

BlueTsunami

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I don't know why but I've been on a rampage lately with how much I've been shooting. The moon must have aligned with something but I've just felt inspired as of late. Here some shots I took early in the morning (overcast skies, point your cameras towards the ground!)















I've been shooting almost exclusively in Manual now. Not sure why... I think its when I read about metering in different lighting and being able to Underexpose/Overexpose an image to bring out different things in your subject/landscape.

I did this a lot with the pictures above. I underexposed since there was a lot of diffused light. Doing that allowed more of the detail to come out of the brighter things and brought out the detail in the leaves shot.
 

mrkgoo

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BlueTsunami said:
I don't know why but I've been on a rampage lately with how much I've been shooting. The moon must have aligned with something but I've just felt inspired as of late. Here some shots I took early in the morning (overcast skies, point your cameras towards the ground!)

I've been shooting almost exclusively in Manual now. Not sure why... I think its when I read about metering in different lighting and being able to Underexpose/Overexpose an image to bring out different things in your subject/landscape.

I did this a lot with the pictures above. I underexposed since there was a lot of diffused light. Doing that allowed more of the detail to come out of the brighter things and brought out the detail in the leaves shot.
Great work!

I have been shooting manually (exposure) since pretty much the beginning. I'm not entirely sure why either, as often I set things pretty much like I am using AV. But I'm so used to the (perhaps a poor) technique, that I am a little uncomfortable using other modes. These days I tend to look at the scene, dial up what I want, shoot, chimp the shot (bad idea), adjust, and then leave it set there. I DO like the freedom manual gives you, but it's just thinly veiled exposure compensation anyway.

I'm also kicking myself (moreso after reading BLuetsunami's earlier post) over my lack of RAW usage. I understand that photography shouldn't be about all this crap, but I find myself just kind of wondering if I'm screwing with my photos too much shooting only JPEG. Thing is, I don't do all that much with my images, and I don't really like adjusting them. Heck, I simply have iPhoto, and I occasionally us GC if I want to use an unsharpmask.


Anyway, been playing with my ef85mm(f1.8). I bought it 2ndhand a while ago, and find it (or my camera) slightly misfocuses, has poor CA performance wide open, and generally just bugs me, so I had to force myself to use it by not bringing any other lenses with me. I've found every piece of camera equipment requires some learning time to really get comfortable - even years.
(click for larger)


EF85mmf/1.8, f1.8, 1/1600s, iso100


EF85mmf/1.8, f2.8, 1/3200s, iso100
 

BlueTsunami

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mrkgoo said:
I'm also kicking myself (moreso after reading BLuetsunami's earlier post) over my lack of RAW usage. I understand that photography shouldn't be about all this crap, but I find myself just kind of wondering if I'm screwing with my photos too much shooting only JPEG. Thing is, I don't do all that much with my images, and I don't really like adjusting them. Heck, I simply have iPhoto, and I occasionally us GC if I want to use an unsharpmask.
I would have to say, the biggest plus for shooting in RAW is being able to sharpen the photos and get great results. From what I've read, Digital Cameras apply an AA filter that causes the preliminary picture to be a bit blurry (almost defocused but at a much smaller level). Applying a Unsharp Mask or some other sharpening counteracts the AA filter. This is why some photographers photos are tack sharp (even without L or Nikon equivalent lenses).

There's also being able to work with Contrast (which I've been doing recently). That REALLY helps with the percieved sharpness of objects.
 

Shiggie

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BlueTsunami said:
I would have to say, the biggest plus for shooting in RAW is being able to sharpen the photos and get great results. From what I've read, Digital Cameras apply an AA filter that causes the preliminary picture to be a bit blurry (almost defocused but at a much smaller level). Applying a Unsharp Mask or some other sharpening counteracts the AA filter. This is why some photographers photos are tack sharp (even without L or Nikon equivalent lenses).

There's also being able to work with Contrast (which I've been doing recently). That REALLY helps with the percieved sharpness of objects.
thanks for the tip on that.
 

mrkgoo

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Yeah, I'm aware of the sharpness a final USM can bring, but I'm too lazy to be bothered for every single shot, especially since it requires it as the final step at the resolution you are presenting at.

Not to mention resizing often has a very good sharpening effect.

I'm generally an indecisive person, so the choices available to process a RAW image overwhelm me. I think I know a little about pre sharpening too (the process during the RAW conversion, not the USM bit at the end).

BTW, any good tips/sights for correct use of the USM parameters? I understand (but forget) what each are (radius, level and threshold), but haven't really read into good uses of each. I know you use different settings depending on the image, ie a portrait might have a larger threshold (or something) to prevent pores being sharpened.
 

BlueTsunami

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mrkgoo said:
BTW, any good tips/sights for correct use of the USM parameters? I understand (but forget) what each are (radius, level and threshold), but haven't really read into good uses of each. I know you use different settings depending on the image, ie a portrait might have a larger threshold (or something) to prevent pores being sharpened.
I have just the thing!

http://photography-on-the.net/forum/showthread.php?t=473056



mrkgoo said:
I think I know a little about pre sharpening too (the process during the RAW conversion, not the USM bit at the end).
I need to learn about this too. I've been converting via Canons Digital Photo Professional... I'm not sure if it apply this type of conversion sharpening (I just sharpen during RAW development).
 

zombi

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Sorry for the watermark, but its from my flickr account and I have lightroom auto throw one on there.
 

cloudwalking

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i really love the photos, everyone! bluetsunami, i really love what you've done with the plant photos. they all look great, my favourite is the last one with the blue hues and the black... gorgeous.

and thanks for the sharpening tips! i've often had to "rescue" my photos with the use of sharpening techniques, because i don't yet have a tripod, so in low light situations i'm prone to a little camera shake in my photos. getting better about it though!

i went to visit the breeders of my siberian cat (oh no, not more cat pictures :p) last night. they just had two litters of kittens. i took a few photos, not all of them turned out great, since kittens don't stand still. i like what i got though:







 

Always-honest

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wow, great photo's guys!!!! reall amazing shots..

Damn cloudwalking, now i want a new kitten.. they are so cute.. what race is that??? just siberian?
 

BlueTsunami

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Went down to the park today during Sunset and tried to take some shots but...

1) The sunset itself was a bit uninteresting due to the clouds

2) The vantage points, where I live, aren't that good. There's one good spot but I'll have to try again another day.

Here are the shots I came up with though...







 
Jun 9, 2004
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Well, here's my alternative for the FUBAR shot.



What I'm thinking: I received this new mobile phone at work, and the accompanying press release claims it's unbreakable; that it's survived being shot by a Glock 9mm, being driven over by a truck, dragged in the water behind a speed boat and is capable of withstanding extreme temperatures. I decided to perform a few Bugs Bunny experiments on it (after this series of photos, I plan on using my chainsaw)
 
OK so I had the day off so I went for a bit of a walk just before sunset.

Here are the two shots that I liked. As usual, pardon the bad jpeg quality. You know free online image hosting.





Both shots taken with the new Tamron 18-270 VC lens on a Canon Kiss X2.
 

Pizza Luigi

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The weirdest sky outside my bedroom window. Didn't care for composition or something. Just made a picture.

Sony A300
 

Mik2121

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samusx said:
Here are some shots from Shinsaibashi in Osaka I took last week.
Nice pics!. Btw, do you live in Osaka or near it?

If you do, I guess you have already been there but if not.. I'd suggest you to from Namba to Nipponbashi not through the big Sennichimae street, but another one smaller right next to it. It has some crazy old buildings that you might want to photograph :)

Also the whole Tennoji area is quite interesting. I went to Spa World there two days ago with my gf and while I've been there before, we walked around some other quite interesting streets. I don't have a good camera, only a digital one, so my pics suck. But check it out anyway (only 1 pic lol):

 

Forsete

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Random fall shots.







I hate how flickrs sizes go from medium which is 500xYYY to original or whatever which is 1200x. 500 feels too small, 1200 is too big. :/
 

BlueTsunami

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Forsete said:
I hate how flickrs sizes go from medium which is 500xYYY to original or whatever which is 1200x. 500 feels too small, 1200 is too big. :/
I eventually got fed up with that weird default res and just started converting my pictures at 800x on the long end.

Messing with Alien Skin...

 

BlueTsunami

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My foray into HDR alchemy...

This experiment was using a single overexposed RAW file. I had used DPP to "push" the picture 2 Stops UP and 2 Stops DOWN and converted them, creating 5 separate JPEG files at different exposures (using a RAW file made this possible).

I then used Photomatix to merge them and apply Tone Mapping. Once done with that, I saved the final image as a 16-Bit TIFF file and manipulated it in Photoshop. Applied a USM, final mess with the levels (to get the look to my preference), re sized to a reasonable resolution and BAM! A picture saved through HDR...

Regular overexposed image...

*Click on images for 1100x733 resolution



HDR image...



With the HDR image, I was able to keep the Highlights and Shadows without having to compromise between the two. It also looks very punchy, which I love. This is all from a single RAW file that I had taken without any intention of using it as an HDR image (I had originally taken the photo but screwed up on the metering. The scene had very strong light being casted down, which made it hard to expose correctly).
 

nitewulf

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do real HDR instead, just bracket for 3 or 5 shots, take one under, one normal and one over and then combine them in photoshop.

i'm not too much into HDR but at times they could look nice and eerie.
 
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