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Thread started 21 Nov 2008 (Friday) 06:05
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Do you get the feeling that the pictures you take look crap?

 
canonloader
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Nov 21, 2008 08:02 |  #16

Yes, I also started with film. Bought my first Minolta slr from a Pawn shop in San Diego in 1964 while on liberty. So what? It was all manual and I did learn to use it. And that has nothing whatever to do with the new digital cameras or how they work now. But my point is, you, and I, have this experience to work from. We've been doing it so long, it's in our blood. I still don't feel that manual mode is the way to start out though, nor do I use Manual mode now for anything but the most static scenes. ;)


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MilesW
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Nov 21, 2008 08:07 |  #17

I get the feeling a lot that I don't know anything about photography. I lack a keen eye for composition and lighting. So it is only every once in a while that I get a photo I am impressed with.


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Flickster
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Nov 21, 2008 08:18 as a reply to  @ post 6731126 |  #18

The user is not saying his/her photos look soft or OOF they are just saying some don't look crisp, it's true that without any examples we can't really give accurate suggestions but I have some ideas.

If it's anything like it was for me when I just started digital photography then I would have to say it's part photoshop skills at fault.

Many new people underestimate how important good photoshop skills are to digital photography, its your darkroom. I would say that many good images are 60% camera skills 40% photoshop.

I'm not talking about transforming an image into something it's not by using photoshop but knowing how to apply and use basics of sharpening, saturation, levels, curves, H&S, contrast and dodge/burn correctly. You only need to look at some of the photos in the before & after thread in the Glamour section to see how much improvement some people get while still keeping an image looking natural, as if it came out if the camera that way:).

The problem is that for many people starting out, they don't know how to use photoshop correctly and think many of these great photos they see on the Internet coming out of their same camera look so great and wonder why their photos don't look so crisp and rich in contrast. I know I did when I first started :).

I could be wrong and without seeing a sample image, no one can really tell. Regardless don't underestimate how important Photoshop can be to a good looking final image, unless your awsome and nail it everytime in-camera without any need for PS, I haven't reached that level yet :). Read lots of books and keep at it, you will get there.


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sapearl
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Nov 21, 2008 08:29 |  #19

Mitch, I neve said the OP should start in Manual, or even has a need to ever move in that direction, merely that this is the mode I enjoy.

I do disagree with you though about the BASICS of cameras though - and yes, many particulars will differ - but all cameras since DaGuerre still require a basic understanding of light/exposure (where is it coming from, how much do I have) shutter speed or a device that acts like a shutter, lens focus, and aperture. Presence of a computer chip has not eliminated these other factors.

The reason I like Manual so much is that wedding receptions are quite static in their lighting and this allows me to work very fast. And when I do fine art landscape work, I have plenty of time to compose and expose, so there is no hurry.

canonloader wrote in post #6731231 (external link)
Yes, I also started with film. Bought my first Minolta slr from a Pawn shop in San Diego in 1964 while on liberty. So what? It was all manual and I did learn to use it. And that has nothing whatever to do with the new digital cameras or how they work now. But my point is, you, and I, have this experience to work from. We've been doing it so long, it's in our blood. I still don't feel that manual mode is the way to start out though, nor do I use Manual mode now for anything but the most static scenes. ;)


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sapearl
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Nov 21, 2008 08:32 |  #20

Mitch, don't be so hard on yourself. Perhaps you are much better than you realize and maybe you just have extremely high standards. There's nothing wrong with that.;)

MilesW wrote in post #6731250 (external link)
I get the feeling a lot that I don't know anything about photography. I lack a keen eye for composition and lighting. So it is only every once in a while that I get a photo I am impressed with.


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luant16
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Nov 21, 2008 09:00 |  #21

I dunt know what do you shoot, if potrait then try to buy 50 1.8, i got a friend who have used zoom lens on their dslr and keep saying her shot isnt crisp, but once she got 50 1.8 she likes it very much. I guess in her scenario bokeh makes the different (eventhough im sure at f8 and smaller it will sharper than 1.8-2.8 ), if you shoot landscape then try to use tripod and lowest ISO as much as possible



  
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chauncey
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Nov 21, 2008 09:02 as a reply to  @ sapearl's post |  #22

Yeah...well what do ya tell some poor schmuck (word courtesy of my second wife, a self-proclaimed JAP) that doesn't know what he doesn't know.
I'm still trying to dredge myself out of that catagory after two years. :lol:

Like you'll say, he's got to post an image. Then allow us to beat him about the head until some of our accumulated knowledge manages to sink in.
In the meantime, park that ego outside, take those lumps and shoot a lot of "thought out" practice shots.

Eventually, you"ll stop feeling like the world's worst photographer and manage to cough out some passable images.


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xarqi
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Nov 21, 2008 09:12 |  #23

chauncey wrote in post #6731556 (external link)
Yeah...well what do ya tell some poor schmuck (word courtesy of my second wife, a self-proclaimed JAP)...

Help me out here. I've seen this acronym a lot at overheardinnewyork.com​, but I've never figured out what it means. Here we have JAFAs, and I wondered if it was similar. JAFA = Just Another F(*&%* Aucklander.

If it's too rude (like the joke about the half acre), maybe send a PM.




  
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xarqi
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Nov 21, 2008 09:45 |  #24

xarqi wrote in post #6731611 (external link)
Help me out here. I've seen this acronym a lot at overheardinnewyork.com​, but I've never figured out what it means. Here we have JAFAs, and I wondered if it was similar. JAFA = Just Another F(*&%* Aucklander.

If it's too rude (like the joke about the half acre), maybe send a PM.

OK - got it now!
Thanks to the kind member (whom I shan't name) who PM'd me the definition.

Hmmm - should it really be "whom" there - where's my book?




  
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Dmab
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Nov 21, 2008 09:49 |  #25

At 100% resolution on a computer monitor I think all my shots look like crap, regardless of the equipment I used, whether the shot looked super on the camera LCD monitor or whether I thought I had the perfect camera setting (aperture, SS, ISO, etc.)

Once I actually do some PP on the shots to get them in the format I would use them in, whether for web display or 4x6 printing it is surprising how well they clean up.

For example, go to Flickr and just browse around. I find it surprising (and at times silly based on the amount of $$ I invest in my equip) how many "sharp" pictures there are that are taken with boring P&S digicams.

I can't speak for folks that print out poster size and larger prints, where imperfections start to show, but the larger the print, the further you need to step back to enjoy it fully anyways so the imperfections get "hidden".

I think the bane of camera lens makers is the fact that we can view an image at 100% resolution.


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JHutter
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Nov 21, 2008 17:17 |  #26

Dmab wrote in post #6731850 (external link)
I think the bane of camera lens makers is the fact that we can view an image at 100% resolution.

I've been wondering if some of my current dissatisfaction is exactly because of this. I hope to find the time to post a couple of pictures and questions of my own this weekend ...


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Nov 21, 2008 17:36 |  #27

They should make a sticky called "Why Do My Pictures Suck?".

The format would be: someone asks "Why do my pictures suck?" then (required) posts an example, both at "regular" size (shrunk for the Web) then a 100% crop from the offending picture. Exif is also required, and any pertinent details of technique (ideally it would be something like "I shot this on a tripod with a cable release and Mirror Lockup with no wind, so I am quite sure it wasn't camera shake"). Short and concise, then followed by short and concise answers (unhelpful ones removed by the moderator) that together could comprise both a must-read and a "living encyclopedia" about why some pictures suck and what you can do about it.

Several factors make a difference between "My picture sucks" and "Hey, I actually captured a great image!". We've all had "sucky" pictures, but progress in photography is all about learning exposure, technique, composition, and how to work with your DSLR and your lens to nudge all of the above into optimal performance.

To those, by the way, who say "My shot looks great except when I look at it at 100%", there are some easy answers. First, all digital images look a bit soft without sharpening, contrast, and maybe some saturation. Second, each lens has its "sweet spot", the range of apertures that yield optimum sharpness (typically f/5.6-f/8 ). Third, if you are hand-holding, stop posting about it on the InterWebs and start practicing good technique, which should include the use of a tripod, cable release, and Mirror LockUp if you want to see what your camera/lens combo is capable of, as well as good techniques for hand-holding.

So, let's scurry out and take pictures, practicing the things we are learning. Read "Understanding Exposure" by Bryan Petersen, and spend some time browsing the Stickes, especially ones at the top of the Talk About Photography sub-forum, learn something useful, then take more pictures, then come back to the "Why Do My Picures Suck?" thread and update us!

Have fun!


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fungry
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Nov 21, 2008 19:15 |  #28

Here is a sample I took 2 months ago. Haven't been taking much lately. Should find myself some time to go out and about. No PPing has been applied.

IMAGE: http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3283/3048495947_d3de410910_b.jpg
1/100 sec @ f/6.3, ISO 100
85mm (EF 28.135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM)
Shot in .jpeg

IMAGE: http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3191/3049355606_ed5a837822_o.jpg
1:1

Just want to say thanks to everyone who has contributed their thoughts so far :).
Also, what is your method of posting up pictures and showing 100% crops on a thread when the original is in RAW? I feel like my methodology is a bit time consuming :S

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sapearl
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Nov 21, 2008 19:21 |  #29

Hi Fungry - thank you for posting some sample images. Now, what is it that YOU don't like about these pictures?

Here's my view: per the EXIF I don't think that camera shake is an issue. Those items that are in focus are reasonably sharp. The problem is you are extremely close to the subject, and at f/6.3 your DOF is very minimal so not much is in good sharp focus. Also, are you doing any sharpenning is PS? These are also just a little bit overexposed, by perhaps a stop or so.

I would have shot it at ISO 200 and picked up a couple of stops more to render deeper DOF.


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Tumbl3w33ds
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Nov 21, 2008 19:37 |  #30

fungry I think that first one looks pretty good...


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