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Shaft
06-28-2007, 06:34 AM
Hey everybody, foolish as i am, i bought my Nikon d80 in hope of getting amazing pictures, which i know you can get with a camera like that, but most of my pictures come out like crap; flat and boring. can anyone give me any tips of how to get better pictures; for example when do you use High or Low Iso, or what kind of lense i should buy, when i should use the white balance etc? I'm using The 18-55 Kit lens now, which I suspect is rubbish. I'm thinking about buying a 55-200 mm lens instead. Well anyway, i'll post some more pictures so you can pick out the mistakes i've made.

http://img177.imageshack.us/img177/677/buskardn0.jpg
Nikon D80
2007/06/26 00:01:12.1
JPEG (8-bit) Fine
Image Size: Large (3872 x 2592)
Color
Lens: 18-55mm F/3.5-5.6 G
Focal Length: 35mm
Exposure Mode: Aperture Priority
Metering Mode: Multi-Pattern
1/160 sec - F/5.6
Exposure Comp.: -0.3 EV
Sensitivity: ISO 125
Optimize Image: Normal
White Balance: Auto
AF Mode: AF-A
Flash Sync Mode: Not Attached
Color Mode: Mode Ia (sRGB)
Tone Comp.: Auto
Hue Adjustment: 0
Saturation: Auto
Sharpening: Auto
Image Comment:
Long Exposure NR: Off
High ISO NR: Off

http://img442.imageshack.us/img442/3600/havay9.jpg
Nikon D80
2007/06/27 01:38:11
JPEG (8-bit) Fine
Image Size: Large (3872 x 2592)
Color
Lens: 18-55mm F/3.5-5.6 G
Focal Length: 55mm
Digital Vari-Program: Landscape
Metering Mode: Multi-Pattern
1/40 sec - F/5.6
Exposure Comp.: 0 EV
Sensitivity: ISO 800
Optimize Image:
White Balance: Auto
AF Mode: AF-A
Flash Sync Mode: Not Attached
Color Mode: Mode IIIa (sRGB)
Tone Comp.: Auto
Hue Adjustment: 0
Saturation: Auto
Sharpening: Auto
Image Comment:
Long Exposure NR: Off
High ISO NR: On (Normal)

Now I do understand that the absent light does make the picture more dull, and difficult to photograph in, but it does also seem that I don't get any sharpness in my pictures. This might be due to my Crappy kit-lense's inability to focus on faraway objects due to it's short "zoom".

http://img150.imageshack.us/img150/6359/molnin8.jpg
Nikon D80
2007/06/25 23:56:43.4
JPEG (8-bit) Fine
Image Size: Large (3872 x 2592)
Color
Lens: 18-55mm F/3.5-5.6 G
Focal Length: 55mm
Digital Vari-Program: Landscape
Metering Mode: Multi-Pattern
1/160 sec - F/9
Exposure Comp.: 0 EV
Sensitivity: ISO 125
Optimize Image:
White Balance: Auto
AF Mode: AF-A
Flash Sync Mode: Not Attached
Color Mode: Mode IIIa (sRGB)
Tone Comp.: Auto
Hue Adjustment: 0
Saturation: Auto
Sharpening: Auto
Image Comment:
Long Exposure NR: Off
High ISO NR: Off

Also i'd really like to learn how you customize all the settings in the M-A-S-P modes, when you should you use which type of white balance, saturation, sharpness etc etc.
Thanks in advance!

Turn
06-28-2007, 06:57 AM
Just experiment, look at a lot of photos and take ideas

no point knowing the technical if the creativity isn't there (although it does help :P)

it took me almost a year to start producing decent photos (it varies, I had no art ability before I started photography)

and that contained...thousands upon thousands of photos and angles


remember!

the Camera DOES NOT make the photographer, but it can make a huge difference in the right hands


looking at those photos:
the composition is somewhat there, all I can say is just develop them and keep shooting :)

zmikers
06-28-2007, 07:30 AM
A lot of people don't think about this or even know that it exists, but using a dslr has a definite learning curve. Don't get frustrated, it happens to everyone. I suggest reading "Understanding Exposure" by Brian Peterson. Also, just keep shooting and shooting and then shoot some more. Try to remember what you did and when you are reviewing your photos, look at all of the shooting info for each pic to see what worked and what didn't. My last bit of advice is what you have already done. Post your pics here and you should get a lot of suggestionsand feedback.

As for your photos you posted, it seems that you've got the rule of thirds down pretty well, that's a great start. I think reading the book above will help a lot here as your shots could use some exposure work, especially #2. This could just be my monitor but they all look a bit underexposed. In photoshop, try upping the saturation, that could give your photos that extra pop you're looking for. Never be ashamed to post process your shots. Also, when shooting landscapes, try to keep your horizons straight, it makes a big difference.

I hope this helps a bit. Keep shooting and keep posting!:D

Turn
06-28-2007, 07:41 AM
As for your photos you posted, it seems that you've got the rule of thirds down pretty well, that's a great start. I think reading the book above will help a lot here as your shots could use some exposure work, especially #2. This could just be my monitor but they all look a bit underexposed. In photoshop, try upping the saturation, that could give your photos that extra pop you're looking for. Never be ashamed to post process your shots. Also, when shooting landscapes, try to keep your horizons straight, it makes a big difference.

I hope this helps a bit. Keep shooting and keep posting!:D

lol rule of thirds..always good to learn
thats like the equivalent of the basic "411" rock beat..

what I would say (being an ex-addicted photoshop addict) is to try get the best out of the shot the moment you take the photo rather than having the mindset of Photoshop making the photo for you\

horizons yes he is right, the straighter they are the better

remember: what do you want to show in the photo, do you need to have shallow focus, to remove things in the background,to get closer or get back and zoom?

do you need to move to the left or right and look up/down the subject

etc etc, question yourself! I've taken over 90 images of my hand and I still have more things to try out with my hand!

downtrodden
06-28-2007, 12:37 PM
I've taken over 90 images of my hand and I still have more things to try out with my hand!


I couldn't resist! :D

Anywho.. back to the OP..

I like the first photo, i think it's just under-exposed.. you could use a slower shutter speed something <1/150..

the last photo I don't think is the fault of the lens.. oddly enough, it looks like the sky is in focus and the foreground isnt. notice how the cumulous clouds seem to be much sharper than the foreground?

Again, all a bit underexposed... i wouldn't necassarilly worry about a new lens just yet. the kit lens isn't rubbish- it's not the best, but it's very capable, so give it a chance!

Goodluck!

~Cory

JTL
06-28-2007, 02:00 PM
If a story had no subject it wouldn't be much of a story. The same can be true of images, whether drawn, painted or photographed (there are, of course, artistic/abstract exceptions...but those rely on other factors such as counterpoint, geometry, color, pattern, etc. to convey their message). Think of what it is that you're actually taking a photo of. Ask yourself why anyone (yourself included) would be interested in looking at the image. It sounds simple, but sometimes you have to start at the beginning. The very beginning....

Cameras and lenses have little or nothing to do with it. They are only tools for expression. You first need something to express. Basic composition skills can be learned and built using an Instamatic...so tweaking settings and buying lenses is not the answer...just as buying a fancy pen would not make someone a better writer. Reading/learning about and praticing/honing compositional skills and injecting passion into your images is what really matters...

zmikers
06-28-2007, 04:36 PM
lol rule of thirds..always good to learn
thats like the equivalent of the basic "411" rock beat..

what I would say (being an ex-addicted photoshop addict) is to try get the best out of the shot the moment you take the photo rather than having the mindset of Photoshop making the photo for you

I agree, try to get the best out of the camera first, but there is no shame in Post Processing. That is all I am saying. Don't think you can take a crap image and just fix it later, but you can use photoshop, or other programs, to get a lot more punch out of your shots.

Sorry, I didn't think commenting on the rule of thirds was funny, considering the OP seems to be new to photography. I think its a very important step to learn.

Turn
06-28-2007, 04:44 PM
Sorry, I didn't think commenting on the rule of thirds was funny, considering the OP seems to be new to photography. I think its a very important step to learn.

I just find it funny that its the very first rule that everyone learns
Sorry that I laugh at the things that you don't

D Thompson
06-28-2007, 04:54 PM
If a story had no subject it wouldn't be much of a story. The same can be true of images, whether drawn, painted or photographed (there are, of course, artistic/abstract exceptions...but those rely on other factors such as counterpoint, geometry, color, pattern, etc. to convey their message). Think of what it is that you're actually taking a photo of. Ask yourself why anyone (yourself included) would be interested in looking at the image. It sounds simple, but sometimes you have to start at the beginning. The very beginning....

Cameras and lenses have little or nothing to do with it. They are only tools for expression. You first need something to express. Basic composition skills can be learned and built using an Instamatic...so tweaking settings and buying lenses is not the answer...just as buying a fancy pen would not make someone a better writer. Reading/learning about and praticing/honing compositional skills and injecting passion into your images is what really matters...

This is the best advice I've read on here in a good while.

JLV
06-28-2007, 05:03 PM
Your photos are nice. Nothing to be ashamed about. They were all taken on cloudy days with out a direct light source. Had the sun been out the photos would be a lot different. You did well with what you had to work with. We can only photograph what is there.

I have gone back to the same location to take photos at different times of day until I got the light I wanted. I have even gone back at different times of the year when I realized the light would be better for the photo I wanted to take then.

kgosden
06-28-2007, 09:32 PM
You don't mention what image editing tools you have available. I think a little play with the curves adjustment in Photoshop could add some pop to your shots.

AlexMonro
06-29-2007, 02:33 AM
There's a lot that can be done in post production with a good image editor - it doesn't even have to cost anything. I use The GIMP, which is a free download (The GIMP (http://www.gimp.org/)). Very capable, though possibly not as easy to use as Photoshop.

As well as using the curves tool to lift the darker areas, a bit of saturation boost and some sharpening with unsharp mask can add some punch to a picture taken in dull lighting, but be carefull not to overdo it or it can look very false. If you shoot in RAW format, you'll have a little more margin for PP adjustments. There's a RAW converter plugin for The GIMP called UFraw.

With landscapes, I often find I have to wait a while for the best light, or the right cloud formation - the longest I've spent was 2 hrs, but I know of other landscape photographers who wait days for the right conditions.

zmikers
06-29-2007, 05:48 PM
I just find it funny that its the very first rule that everyone learns
Sorry that I laugh at the things that you don't

Exactly, so that's why I thought it important to mention to someone who has no or very little experience. I'm still not sure why you were laughing, is it because you thought it was too simple that I need not mention mention it. We are here to help others, not laugh at their inexperiences. Sorry if I've taken this the wrong way, which is very possible.

Turn
06-30-2007, 01:45 AM
Exactly, so that's why I thought it important to mention to someone who has no or very little experience. I'm still not sure why you were laughing, is it because you thought it was too simple that I need not mention mention it. We are here to help others, not laugh at their inexperiences. Sorry if I've taken this the wrong way, which is very possible.

you have completely misunderstood me
I wasn't laughing at his inexperience, stop acting so self righteous
We were all amateurs at one stage

zmikers
06-30-2007, 03:05 AM
you have completely misunderstood me
I wasn't laughing at his inexperience, stop acting so self righteous
We were all amateurs at one stage

Look. I'm not acting self rituous, I thought you were, that is why I metioned it. all I did was offer some advice. How could helping someone be self rituous. You were the one laughing at me for helping. That is totaly uncalled for. I gave simple advice and you laughed at it. I apologized if I misunderstood why you laughed at me, but you still haven't given an explaination and now your calling me self rituous.

Turn
06-30-2007, 04:12 AM
Look. I'm not acting self rituous, I thought you were, that is why I metioned it. all I did was offer some advice. How could helping someone be self rituous. You were the one laughing at me for helping. That is totaly uncalled for. I gave simple advice and you laughed at it. I apologized if I misunderstood why you laughed at me, but you still haven't given an explaination and now your calling me self rituous.

wrong once again, I wasn't laughing because you were helping


it wasn't the advice, it was the fact that it was rule of thirds (which is an important rule) just that its always the first thing that I hear, wasn't to put you or him down or anything

I still don't accept your apology

zmikers
06-30-2007, 06:23 AM
I really do apologize. I have offended you in some way and I have no idea how. I really don't want to offend anybody here. If I have, please explain why, not to make an arguement but so that I am aware of what I have done wrong. Really I am not trying to be rude in anyway.

Turn
06-30-2007, 05:02 PM
I really do apologize. I have offended you in some way and I have no idea how. I really don't want to offend anybody here. If I have, please explain why, not to make an arguement but so that I am aware of what I have done wrong. Really I am not trying to be rude in anyway.

Alright.
I am sorry and I won't continue arguing

let us now move on
I'll try be more clear with my words in the future so that such an argument will not occur

:) ok

and I accept your apology and I hope you accept mine

now, lets get back to the actual point of this thread

zmikers
06-30-2007, 05:15 PM
LOL - this is turning into a "can't we all just be friends" Anyways, of coarse, no worries:D My apology is accepted and yours is too. Cheers mate!

You are right, let's get back to the original post. I would love to see some more shots from the op and hear some of his thoughts. Like I said before, keep posting. There are some very knowledgable people here that can give some really great advice.

JTL
06-30-2007, 07:31 PM
Hey...you mean there's a disagreement going on that doesn't involve me? How did that ever happen? :D:p:D:p:D:p:D

------------------------------------------------------
Shaft:

There's another Bryan Peterson book that wasn't mentioned, but is worth checking out. Its called Learning to See Creatively. Definitely a good read for anyone wanting a different take on image making...

http://www.amazon.com/Learning-See-Creatively-Composition-Photography/dp/0817441816/ref=pd_bxgy_b_img_b/103-6079174-6486201

Rooz
06-30-2007, 07:49 PM
now, lets get back to the actual point of this thread

if you notice, the OP hasn't posted again. i actually PM'd him to offer some more help...no response. this pisses me off really, someone comes in asks for help, people offer and they never come back.

Turn
06-30-2007, 11:53 PM
if you notice, the OP hasn't posted again. i actually PM'd him to offer some more help...no response. this pisses me off really, someone comes in asks for help, people offer and they never come back.

it does happen on many forums, some people want a quick answer then leave once they have gotten an answer that "satisfies" them

zmikers
07-01-2007, 12:15 AM
it does happen on many forums, some people want a quick answer then leave once they have gotten an answer that "satisfies" them

Yup, I think we can safely say that we all agree on this point:p! Crap eh? Oh well, at least we got some fun out of it!:D

zmikers
07-01-2007, 12:17 AM
Hey...you mean there's a disagreement going on that doesn't involve me? How did that ever happen? :D:p:D:p:D:p

Your wrong! I disagree with you! Because now it does involve you!:p:D Kind of a catch 22 thing there eh? LOL

JTL
07-02-2007, 04:08 PM
Your wrong! I disagree with you! Because now it does involve you!:p:D Kind of a catch 22 thing there eh? LOLThank you! It was bugging me! Now I feel a lot better! Until now, I felt I was missing out! :D:D:D

At least this thread has produced a few chuckles mixed in with some good advice. F the OP! :eek: