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Help me with my photo

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Virtual Ranger
Joined: Wed Feb 15, 2006 6:46 pm
Posts: 175
Location: In the studio for now
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Thu Apr 06, 2006 3:49 pm Unread post
Image

How about something like this?
Last post


Foto's and editing

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Senior Virtual Ranger
Joined: Tue May 09, 2006 10:13 pm
Posts: 1892
Location: Slightly Off Center
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Sat May 27, 2006 2:24 pm Unread post
Hey guys

I'm pretty new to the forum but I do know a bit mre about PC's and that other tech stuff...

I visit the KNP at least one a month - Yup I live in Nelspruit so all you Gautengers can be yealous now ;)

I have looked at all these pics... I have several shots on http://www.baffers.org/gallery ... One thing is for sure... maybe 1 in every 1000 shots is the perfect size and shadow and light and aperture and so on. I use a canon 20 D and even though that camera does everything for you I still find it necesarry to "adjust certain pictures".

I use a 170 - 500 mm sigma lens as well. Now sometimes it works well. If you look at this picture:

http://www.baffers.org/gallery/main.php?g2_itemId=26

I used the lens to get this guy without frightening him. The picture of the leopards at this url:

http://www.baffers.org/gallery/main.php?g2_itemId=17

Was taken from about 30 m.

Since most people on this forum would most likely fall in to the "advanced beginner / expereinced novice / trial & error class of photographers just like me I can make 5 suggestions that wont cost you a small gamefarm full of money.

1. Get a BIG memory for you camera
2. Get a reasonable PC software bundle to edit pictures with
3. Take literaly 1000's of pictures
4. Write down what you do and anticipate problems.
5. Invest in some filters...

Now: These pictures (the leopard and most of the rest of these pictures) have one thing in common. It wasnt the way the picture use to look. In the leopard pics the original had a leopard in the centre of the pic but I was antcipating that issue so I took the picture on as large as possible format.

This meant that I could go home and then cut the centre of the picure and resize it. Using the largest format meant I could cut and resize without loosing visible quality.

I use Paint shop Pro to edit pictures. I find - being in technical side of computers for a long time now that a "medium range program" that you understand well and can use to it's full capabilities is worth much more than buying someting like coral draw and then not knowing where to start. I must say I sometimes use the software bundled with my Canon camera to do white balancing and so forth on photos but for cutting and editing I tend to use the Paint Shop.

I have a 2 gigg mem card and two 1 gigg cards as backup with my camera. I even pickle my laptop with on langer trips (like Long weekends etc) because I literally take 1000's of pictures.

That saying about good fotographers are the ones that throw more pictures away is very true. If you get a leopard that is sitting still you get 100's of pictures from every angle possible. One or two of those pictures are bound to be good. If you move around and try to get pictures from different angles you also have achance of getting a few where the shadow is different and the sun from a different angle and so forth. In time one learns the ideal place to be and start to look out for that "looong" shadow the car makes is that will be in your picture if your angle is wrong... All things you learn in time...

The last one I can reccomend - Especially if you start being past the point of novice - is to get a filter or two. I found via a strnager that borrowed me one in letaba restcamp, that a good polarisation filter is a wonderfull thing. If I may refer to the picture of the Marabo in the obove post for instance. the picture is good but for some reason a polarisation filter makes the lines seem crisper. If you would use a filter ont at picture the feathers almost seem to be more noticable and the general colors - especially white colors - tend to be more defined. It does cost a bit (about R1000 for a polorisation filter on a 500 mm lens) but it is worth every penny in my opinion. It also allows you to take very good pictures in braod daylight instead of having to wait for sunrise or sunset.

I've only had mine for 4 days now and I am wonderign what I eer did without it... I am getting at least 3 times more pictures that can be classed as "GREAT" pictures.

Anyway... I might have a record for the longest post ever ont he forum but I hope my experiences can help some other guys who just want to have a serious hobby of photography...

Baffs



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Junior Virtual Ranger
Joined: Fri Mar 03, 2006 12:34 pm
Posts: 168
Location: Paris France
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Fri Jun 02, 2006 5:14 pm Unread post
Hi Baffers!!

I just came across your post. Thanks for taking the time to write it all. You have some good advice there for someone like myself. I am a beginnner photograph and even more beginner with digital.
How does paint shop pro compare to photoshop?
Obviously as a beginner (photo and computers) photoshop is very difficult. I am using tutorials and books to try to get something out of it.
Is paint shop pro a bit more manageable???

Regards Graeme



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Senior Virtual Ranger
Joined: Tue May 09, 2006 10:13 pm
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Location: Slightly Off Center
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Fri Jun 02, 2006 8:18 pm Unread post
Greame

That is a difficult question. It's probably because I have been using paint shop pro so long that I find it easy :)

I know exactly what to press when hehe. I can honestly not say if one is better than the other. I think the idea is to get something you might be comfortable with. If at all possible try and test them out before buying.

I've been doing computers (more on technical side) for 13 years. So some things do come a bit more natural these days ;) I tend to have the features I use and then get to know those ones well.

I'm going to Kruger on the long weekend of the 16th and then again for a long weekend right after that t test my new polorisation filter :) (OK Gauteng guys... You can be yealous now) I'll post some pics right after :) With new filter 8)



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Joined: Wed Aug 16, 2006 8:38 pm
Posts: 966
Location: Port Elizabeth
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Sat Aug 19, 2006 8:33 am Unread post
graemy wrote
Hi Baffers!!

I just came across your post. Thanks for taking the time to write it all. You have some good advice there for someone like myself. I am a beginnner photograph and even more beginner with digital.
How does paint shop pro compare to photoshop?
Obviously as a beginner (photo and computers) photoshop is very difficult. I am using tutorials and books to try to get something out of it.
Is paint shop pro a bit more manageable???

Regards Graeme



Hi Graeme,

I have just seen your post. I too have just started Digital..... used Velvia slide film for YEARS in my F5. If you have Nikon Equipment and are thus able to shoot in NEF (Nikon RAW) then you are in luck you can get the user friendly and almost as good as Photoshop CS2 ....Nikon Capture NX and then take a course by Nikon Photography School (see Nikonsa Website.) they do courses in most centres. However Nikonsa has spoilt the party for their users again. Before it was announced in JUne 06 I phoned them and they "estimated the price would be about R1200-R1400" True to form when it came out the price is the normal double that at R2750!!!! but dealers vary between R1899 and R 2450....Why all the variance????? just do yourself a favour like I'm going to do and get it retail from New York and worry about upgrades later. NY Price US$149 !!!!! It makes me want to vomit at the way we are sometimes ripped off in South Africa.

Filters...... I used to spend a lot on filters but with Digital it's not so bad due to software, but again its always best I suppose to get it sorted out as much as you can before it gets to the computer so filters have a place in Digital. I agree with the guy you responded to in June that a poloriser is best but at R 1000 for an 83mm poloriser is cheap especially for South African Prices. Years Ago I discovered Bob Singh in Florida USA He Custom makes the Best Filters in the world.... why spend all that money on a Canon 600mm IS f4 or a Nikon 300 f2.8 Nano Crystal coated lens and then stick any old bit of glass or worse still resin at the end.... optics are the most important part of any system and are only as good as the weakest link so filters must be up there with the ED/Fluoride lens glass. for a goldnBlue or Color enharncer- poloriser by Singh Ray will set you back between US$ 300-400. Check out his site.... www.singh-ray.com He is a great guy and has built me great filters like ND Reverse Grads to hold back the bright light on horizons for sunrise/sets for stunning results... you won't be sorry... the results equal or beat photoshop anytime.



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Honorary Virtual Ranger
Joined: Fri Jan 14, 2005 5:42 pm
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Location: Red sand, why do I keep thinking of red sand?
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Fri Sep 01, 2006 1:32 pm Unread post
Hoephoep asked me to help me with a photo of his. This one to be exact:
Image
As you can see the focus is behind the bird, and no amount of sharpening will correct that. However, I thought of another little trick. The focus should be at the bird, so why not alter the way the viewer will see it?
First I roughly selected the bird using the Malgnetic lassotool.
Image
That selection was copied to a new layer so I could work on the rest of the photo. I had to hide the real focus of the photo, so used a little Gaussian blur on it. In the below screenshot you can see that the grass has been blurred at bit, but not the bird. Not really true, the bird you see is the copy of it, which is on another layer, so was not affected by the blurring.
Image
Now for enhancing the bird, so I switched to layer 2. Using UnSharp Mask (USM) I made it look a little sharper. Look only mind you!
Image
As you can see in the preview window the background is transparant, that is the area that was not copied. You can also see that I really meant it when I said roughly selected. The bits of grass that are included in that selection will be sharpened as well, and will give a rough edges to the bird. So a little cleaning up with the Erasor tool is needed. And the result is this:
Image
All in all maybe 3 minutes work, it can be improved on, but it's enough to show you how to salvage a photo.



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Joined: Wed Jul 26, 2006 10:48 am
Posts: 44
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Fri Sep 22, 2006 11:37 am Unread post
Image Is there anyway this can be fixed ??? don't know how I managed to get everything in focus except the eyes and nose - although it does create a funky effect would it work if it was blown up and framed?? Somebody please help



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Junior Virtual Ranger
Joined: Sun Sep 04, 2005 3:04 pm
Posts: 537
Location: Nottinghamshire UK
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Fri Sep 22, 2006 2:08 pm Unread post
Hi
We all have fabulous shots like yours! Firstly it cannot be fixed - sorry! I have tried a number of packages which claim to be able to fix out of focus shots - they don't.

Second, some of the problem, I suspect, is movement of the lions head.

So - always use a faster shutter speed than you think you use. I have learnt this by bitter experience!
Always focus with great care - and even with a pro SLR it can be quite difficult to tell exactly what the camera has decided to focus on.
Try to use F8 or so to give a reasonable depth of focus to allow for a slight error in focus.

These are frequently mutually incompatibl! You may need to compromise and use a higher iso than you would like. But there are very good programs to remove noise from images - unlike correcting for movement or focus problems.

Richard



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Joined: Wed Jul 26, 2006 10:48 am
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Fri Sep 22, 2006 2:18 pm Unread post
Oh well we live and learn got some other nice shots though so that makes up for it - Thanks for the advice very helpful I shall remember that next time and hopefully avoid some tears on my part - one question does the type of film make a huge difference to the shutter speed - as I always use 400 as my Grandad always told me to many years ago????



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Joined: Wed Aug 24, 2005 10:11 am
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Location: Durban, South Africa
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Fri Sep 22, 2006 2:45 pm Unread post
Bok bok wrote
one question does the type of film make a huge difference to the shutter speed - as I always use 400 as my Grandad always told me to many years ago????


Hi Bok bok,

Shame about the photo! As Richard said we all live and learn the hard way!

Yes a faster film will allow you to shoot at a faster shutter speed. Sometimes confusingly, ISO ratings are faster the higher the number, so 800 would be faster than 400, and 100 slower than 400 (or 200).

The trade off is grain. In order for the film to be exposed quickly the crystals in higher speed film are bigger. What this means in that the higher the ISO number the grainier the image will be.

This isn't likely to be too much of a problem with films up to about 400, but you might notice a bigger grain if you wanted to enlarge your images, expecially if you choose to go to an 800 or higher.

I think most of us stick to 100 or 200. I used to use 50 (very slow, but very fine grained film) but then you have to compensate with expensive fast lenses... (that was before I went 100% digital.)

I used to use 50, 100 and 200 on bright shiny days, 200 and 400 on overcast days, and 800 on night drives.

Cheers
Craig



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Junior Virtual Ranger
Joined: Thu Jul 27, 2006 3:52 pm
Posts: 228
Location: Worcester South Africa
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Fri Sep 22, 2006 4:38 pm Unread post
Hi Bok Bok
Is this an improvement or not?
Old New
Image Image

You can never fix an out of focus photo, but perhaps you can get it a bit more acceptable for your own pleasure. Not for publishing and that sort of stuff.
Greetings
HoepHoep



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Virtual Ranger
Joined: Mon Oct 17, 2005 1:47 pm
Posts: 327
Location: Eish !
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Fri Sep 22, 2006 5:19 pm Unread post
Bok bok wrote
[img]...[/img] Is there anyway this can be fixed ??? don't know how I managed to get everything in focus except the eyes and nose - although it does create a funky effect would it work if it was blown up and framed?? Somebody please help

Your focusing is perfect, Bok bok, the carcass is nicely in focus and so is the rest of the body, but as the others have pointed out the blur occured due to the sudden movement of the cub's head. These things are unpredictable. It happens all the time with me when I photogragh my cats and dogs. If there is enough light the camera will automatically select a faster shutter speed and you won't notice the blur so much (A mode).
Yep, to be on the safe side higher ISO and faster shutter speeds is the order of the day and the risk of some noise is a small price to pay.

@ HoepHoep: definitely a nice improvement. Well done ! :D



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Virtual Ranger
Joined: Wed Feb 15, 2006 6:46 pm
Posts: 175
Location: In the studio for now
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Fri Sep 22, 2006 5:34 pm Unread post
Bok bok wrote
Is there anyway this can be fixed ???


Sure, just hop in the car, head back there and get an even better shot! :) Practice makes perfect so they say, and the more you practice, the more you can dump all the ones that 'got away' and only keep the good stuff. We all have loads of those 'almost' shots.
In this case I think the lioness moved AND the autofocus let you down. For this reason I try to take lots of pics in this situation refocusing frequently to ensure I get something keepable.
My 12 year old daughter always reminds me that' memory is the best camera' :) At least you had an awesome sighting. :)



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Junior Virtual Ranger
Joined: Thu Jul 27, 2006 3:52 pm
Posts: 228
Location: Worcester South Africa
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Sat Sep 23, 2006 9:27 am Unread post
Hi Bok Bok
Yes, a bit of sharpening to the face only. Also a bit of adjustment to the highlights/shadows or greyscale curve.

I agree that the memory is the best camera, but these not so perfect photos help to refresh the memory after many years, thats why I will rather fix it than throw it away. The solution is as many photos as possible.

Bye for now, I must do a wedding today, hope the bride don't move her head unexpectedly! Which is esasier - people or animals?
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