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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    Milwaukee, WI
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    295

    Graduation Party

    First, I am not sure if there is any unspoken rule about not posting to many threads, but since people have been saying that there isn't much going on these days, I figured why not!

    My sister graduated from high school this weekend, and my parents asked me to take some pictures since they were going to be super busy with the food/etc. I figured it would be a great chance to play with the camera more. Most of the shots turned out alright, but nothing I was all that happy with. One in particular turned out great in my opinion. I was wondering what your opinions of it were and what could have been in improved upon.

    This is right out of the camera with the exception of using MS Paint to crop a little off the top. Using my D5000 and 18-55. I really like the brightness of the grass/leaves and the contrast between her and the background.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    6,931
    Crop it into a portrait shot to get rid of the messy background.

    I always think this way (assuming I was in your position).

    "Is this a shot of my sister or a shot of a girl standing in front of a playground?"

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Milwaukee, WI
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    295
    Quote Originally Posted by K1W1 View Post
    Crop it into a portrait shot to get rid of the messy background.

    I always think this way (assuming I was in your position).

    "Is this a shot of my sister or a shot of a girl standing in front of a playground?"
    I kind of like the background. But I will try it and see how it looks. Oh, and that is actually my girlfriend, not my sister.

    Edit: Is this more like you were talking about?


    As well, I have been thinking about picking up another lens and am looking into the 55-200 VR. MY hope was to get a little more of a blurred background on the long end and be able to have a little bit more of an extended reach. Seeing as though it is the complement to my current 18-55, should I expect the same optical quality, or something a little better? I know the build is pretty much the same. Or should I step up and spring for the 70-300? Buying the 55-200 would allow the $200 for a 35mm f/1.8.
    Last edited by Myboostedgst; 06-14-2010 at 08:06 PM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    6,931
    Girlfriend - Sister, they all cost money. :-)

    I prefer the cropped version but as I said the other day it's your photo and you should crop it as you like it depends on what your intention is.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Milwaukee, WI
    Posts
    295
    Quote Originally Posted by K1W1 View Post
    Girlfriend - Sister, they all cost money. :-)

    I prefer the cropped version but as I said the other day it's your photo and you should crop it as you like it depends on what your intention is.
    Aint that the truth!

    But, I do see how most people would like the cropped version better. Any advice on the actual settings from what you can see? Anything else you would have done?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Wisconsin
    Posts
    2,929
    Quote Originally Posted by K1W1 View Post
    Girlfriend - Sister, they all cost money. :-)
    LOL! Thats golden!
    Jason

    "A coward dies a thousand deaths, a soldier dies but once."-2Pac


    A bunch of Nikon stuff!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    1,923
    It's a really nice shot, it just highlights the importance of a large-aperture lens in adding the out-of-focus background that makes your subject stand out and is the hallmark of portrait photography. If you want to keep going in this vein, I suggest the 50mm f/1.8, even if you have to manually focus. For portraits there is usually enough time to focus anyway, and for $100 you can't get a better portrait lens. But as far as exposure and everything, this is great. Maybe tune up the highlights just a tad, and warmify the white balance a hair. Overcast days like this one do a great job preserving detail, but sensors don't do as well with dynamic range and the subtlety of contrast that our eyes see.
    Nikon D40 + kit lens

    Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 D AF(...or not)

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Milwaukee, WI
    Posts
    295
    Quote Originally Posted by fionndruinne View Post
    It's a really nice shot, it just highlights the importance of a large-aperture lens in adding the out-of-focus background that makes your subject stand out and is the hallmark of portrait photography. If you want to keep going in this vein, I suggest the 50mm f/1.8, even if you have to manually focus. For portraits there is usually enough time to focus anyway, and for $100 you can't get a better portrait lens. But as far as exposure and everything, this is great. Maybe tune up the highlights just a tad, and warmify the white balance a hair. Overcast days like this one do a great job preserving detail, but sensors don't do as well with dynamic range and the subtlety of contrast that our eyes see.
    Is the 50mm f/1.8 better than the 35mm f/1.8? I don't have a problem paying the extra $100, but I don't know if the 35mm is usually to short for portraits. I really would love the auto focus as I dont know if I will feel comfortable manually focusing everytime. Maybe I will start practicing with my 18-55 to see if I can get the hang of it.

    As for the PP tips, I will be trying those soon. I should have my copy of photoshop soon (Within the week I would guess).

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    1,923
    Quote Originally Posted by Myboostedgst View Post
    Is the 50mm f/1.8 better than the 35mm f/1.8? I don't have a problem paying the extra $100, but I don't know if the 35mm is usually to short for portraits. I really would love the auto focus as I dont know if I will feel comfortable manually focusing everytime. Maybe I will start practicing with my 18-55 to see if I can get the hang of it.

    As for the PP tips, I will be trying those soon. I should have my copy of photoshop soon (Within the week I would guess).
    35mm and 50mm are vastly different focal lengths when applied to portrait photography. But I don't need to try and explain that - just set your kit lens to those focal lengths and take some shots. You'll soon see that while 35mm is fine for group photos or full body shots where you want some aspects of the person's surroundings left in the frame, it is too wide for true portraits. 50mm is right at the wide-end limit for good portraits, truth be told, but $100 beats the price for any decent 60mm-85mm and beyond portrait lens.
    Nikon D40 + kit lens

    Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 D AF(...or not)

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Head north 'til you smack a polar bear, then crank it back 50 miles.
    Posts
    440
    Quote Originally Posted by K1W1 View Post
    Girlfriend - Sister, they all cost money. :-)
    'Specially in Kentucky where they're often both.

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