Panasonic GF3 and 100-300 lens in St. Petersburg

Started 4 months ago | Photos
Electriq
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Re: Panasonic GF3 and 100-300 lens in St. Petersburg
In reply to Sergeg, 4 months ago

Sergeg wrote:

ambercool wrote:

Electriq wrote:

Sergeg wrote:

St Petersburg is a beautiful city rich in Architecture, been there, and all you can come up with is that?

Sorry, hardly inspiring, shots of daggy traffic and overhead power lines doesn't do it for me.

I agree with most critic but I want just notice that I did not aimed to make a beautiful city advertisement booklet

I think this is a pretty harsh thing to say to you and I'm sorry for that. If you take a look at some other photos from your negative critiquing peers you can see that they are skilled with the post process. What you need to realize is that if your eye can't see things past continuous exposure in the distance then there is no way the camera can either. The dodge and burn techniques are used to make these images come "to life".

I guarantee you that the RAW from some of these people who are being harsh to you are night and day. So I just want to remind you that just because someone else can't see what you're seeing doesn't mean anything other than that. OR just send your photo to a digital artist just to annoy people.

GL!

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-Viet

Nothing harsh about honesty, how is anybody going to rise above mediocrity if people insist on pandering to the lowest common denominator? The OP said they liked buildings and detail, where is there any evidence of that? The best of Europes artisans were commissioned by Peter the Great to creative a "Venice of the North" and this is reflected here?

Stay in down town LA if you want to shoot that. What an insult!

Sorry, St. Petersburg is not only Treziny and Rasstrelly's architecture facades, especially for citizens. The photo below also shows St. Petersburg as I see it, with external elevators, wires, old roofs, etc. And I understand that it is not the beautiful photos for a tourist album book.

I understand that I have to achieve more skill in cropping, post processing and so on, but I don't want to shoot, say, 'standard views'.

Another terrific photo with wires

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Sergeg
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Re: Panasonic GF3 and 100-300 lens in St. Petersburg
In reply to Electriq, 4 months ago

Another terrific photo with wires

I like your wire shots  

Peace

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maggiemole
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Re: Panasonic GF3 and 100-300 lens in St. Petersburg
In reply to Electriq, 4 months ago

I too am a big fan of architecture and details of buildings. In this series of pictures you've been thrilled to use your new lens, and I can relate to that too. But St Petersburg is a difficult city to capture if you are too far from your subjects. The wires do indeed get in the way (as they do in many Indian cities, too), and you then have to decide how to build them into the image - when your eye completely ignores them in the first place! So it's not easy.
I see you have the 45mm too. I find this lens a real delight in capturing architectural details, both at 45mm and at double the fl, by using ETC. You get much closer to the subject, so the wires etc vanish. The subject is usually able to reflect more light back to the camera, or at least you are able to expose for it more particularly. When you have dull light as we have in the north until summer, and we have in polluted cities everywhere, you need all you can get. OK, you don't get the skyline, but maybe it's better to plan to shoot skylines at dawn or dusk anyway.

I wonder how these images would look in black and white, with much more or maybe much less contrast?
Keep shooting!

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yyr
yyr
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Re: Panasonic GF3 and 100-300 lens in St. Petersburg
In reply to Electriq, 4 months ago

So - you need to be pretty thick skinned and determined to post pictures on this forum I applaud your bravery. On first look I dismissed these photos and moved on to read a couple of the comments then I came to take another look and decided that whilst visual impact is lacking there is some good stuff in here if you are prepared to try and master a few things. These photos of everyday city life have a different appeal to the brochure photos and there is obviously something here that appeals to you and potentially to others. Work out what it is and what you are trying to show your viewer and do that for each and every picture.

A couple of general points.....

White skies are a big  killer. Your skies in all of these photos are blown out but look like there is blue in here to recover. Like others have already said, a little bit of competent PP goes a long way. Buy a book or watch some videos on YouTube.

Secondly, composition. Hmmm - In general I'd say your views are too tight or not tight enough. If you are trying to show the scenes of everyday life then they are too tight. Step back the zoom a bit and give the viewer more context. If you are trying to show architectural detail then you need to frame more carefully and maybe even get closer. Make sure it's clear which of these two things you are doing for you and your viewer. And DONT chop of bits just to fit - zoom out, recompose or find an angle that works better. Practice by taking the same scene at different focal lengths to see what works best and try different angles. Framing is a skill like everything else and it needs to be learnt.There have been some comments about removing wires but frankly if they are part of the scene that you want to show me then I have no problem with them and in some of the pictures below they add a nice sense of reality. Watch out for them when they're out of focus or obviously dominate in the frame.

Here are some specific comments on each...

This one is not working at all. The chopped off buildings in the foreground make the picture look...chopped off. Maybe a portrait view would work better here. You might also try to lift some of the dark shadows.

This one would work well if you hadn't cut off the top of the building on the left hand side. The foreground of rooftops is good. This is an example where zooming a bit less might work better. The wires in this one are distracting but that's partly because they are out of focus. because they

Not too bad - a bit of PP which gives consideration to light and shadow would make the scene more appealing.

I like this except for the people at the front who are out of focus because they are too close to your lens Zoom out or zoom in but I'd try and get this one from a slightly higher angle if possible.

This one needs some better PP. Lift the shadows to show me the detail and do something about the sky. May work better as a portrait shot?

This scene is the one I like the best and has real potential but at the moment the road looks 'chopped' Get rid of that railing or wire that's out of focus at the top and bottom of the picture. If you are prepared to retake this then zoom out a little more - use the road to lead the eye, maybe placing it at an angle rather than coming straight out of the bottom of the frame. I like the way the highlights and sunbeams illuminate the scene.

This shot is too tight and you chopped off the top of her spear! The rooftops make a good contrast for this classical bit of sculpure - let us see a bit more of them. At the moment they are in the picture because you can't avoid them. Try using them creatively as part of the scene.

Good Luck!

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Electriq
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Re: Panasonic GF3 and 100-300 lens in St. Petersburg
In reply to yyr, 4 months ago

Thank you very much for detailed comments!

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Sergeg
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Re: Panasonic GF3 and 100-300 lens in St. Petersburg
In reply to Electriq, 4 months ago

Electriq wrote:

Thank you very much for detailed comments!

Dear Electriq, I wish I new your real name, and who you are.

I am a 65 yr young male of Russian stock and proud of it, my name is Sergei, can't get more Russian than that.

I regret my anonymous friend, that you have been served an ill service by well meaning, while somewhat patronising and totally ignorant remarks and advice, which will not serve you well in mastering the fundamental precepts of the art and craft of photography.

You cannot FIX ANYTHING IN POST creatively, only technically!

People who have grown up in the digital era have often no grounding and experience in the basic principles and fundamentals of image creation when they suggest ....

"negative critiquing peers you can see that they are skilled with the post process."

or

"you need to post process a little bit more."

or

" I wonder how these images would look in black and white, with much more or maybe much less contrast? "

or

"a little bit of competent PP goes a long way"

If it ain't there, it ain't there my friend!

You need to SEE a scene, previsualise, interpret, become light aware, learn the fundamentals of composition. Exposure and focus the camera is designed to do, but you should not rely on auto settings exclusively. Learn to read the light before you take the shot.

I have over 40 years experience shooting reversal film, that's when you had to get it right in camera, you couldn't fix it in Photoshop, skilled darkroom work gave you some leeway. And teaching the subject to high school students and adults for over 20 yrs triggers a knee jerk reaction, so excuse my frustration when I see bad practice being lauded and rewarded by ignorant advice.

So this obsession with fixing everything after the fact, is teaching you how to make a purse from a sows ear essentially. Don't fall for it. Learn how to get it right, prevention is better that cure.

And inspiration is inspiring to see

Ah, la dih dah, la dih dah, as Annie Hall would say.

Don't take my comments to heart, not directed at you as a person.

Good night

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arbuz
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Re: Panasonic GF3 and 100-300 lens in St. Petersburg
In reply to Electriq, 4 months ago

I like no 4.

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GeorgianBay1939
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Re: Panasonic GF3 and 100-300 lens in St. Petersburg
In reply to Electriq, 4 months ago

Electriq wrote:

Thank you very much for detailed comments!

I carefully looked at your images and read all of the comments.

Although I've never been to St Petersburg, I envy you, living there and making the decision to capture the reality of the city, not just the subjects that "photographers" flock towards.... this touristy stuff:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_Petersburg#Cityscape

To me, capturing what others do not see is a worthy challenge for a creative photographer.

I am recent convert to the hobby and think that Yaelle and Sergei gave you excellent advice.  Some of the other well-intentioned advice was questionable.  It is important to use pp as an aid to improving a well-composed, well-exposed image of an interesting subject  NOT to "recover" inadequate images.

A suggestion from an old guy who is learning to use a camera to capture what strikes him as interesting:

When you are out and about with your camera and a scene strikes you ...

  • Discipline yourself to say exactly what captures your attention in the scene ... a minaret above a busy street, a  wall of varying architecture, a pair of domes, a statue etc .... then position yourself, select the lens, compose the image, set the camera and get it .... using all of the above to help the viewer see what captured your attention in the scene.

Helping the viewer see what excited you is important (as we all have different life experiences which affect our vision).

After a little while the discipline mentioned above will become quite automatic and an exciting part of making the photograph.  When you see the results in postprocessing you'll remember what "grabbed" you,  guiding your pp objectives.

Most important, though, is to keep shooting what engages you ... and to continue developing your skills in sharing your excitement with others.

Good luck on a journey with a good start!

Tom

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Electriq
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Re: Panasonic GF3 and 100-300 lens in St. Petersburg
In reply to Sergeg, 4 months ago

Sergeg wrote:

Electriq wrote:

Thank you very much for detailed comments!

Dear Electriq, I wish I new your real name, and who you are.

<...>

My name is Alexander, I'm 28-years programmer with physical (I mean science) education. Photography is only a hobby for me. And I met the analog epoch only in childhood...

I will lend an ear on your advise!

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Electriq
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Re: Panasonic GF3 and 100-300 lens in St. Petersburg
In reply to GeorgianBay1939, 4 months ago

Thank you for 'thinking algorithm'!

BTW, the dome on the first photo (which you called 'minaret') is a part of Church of the Savior on Blood (at 1,8 km distance; I'm not religious, just architecture).

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agentul
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Re: Panasonic GF3 and 100-300 lens in St. Petersburg
In reply to Electriq, 4 months ago

Electriq wrote:

My name is Alexander, I'm 28-years programmer with physical (I mean science) education. Photography is only a hobby for me. And I met the analog epoch only in childhood...

I will lend an ear on your advise!

protip: next time you want to post pictures, don't use the C&C label or ask of any opinion whatsoever. i suspect you did it more for the purely technical aspects of your photos (sharpness, aperture, etc.).

i am an engineer and i sometimes take pictures just because because i like pressing the button and hearing the shutter and aperture blades move. i would have inserted the confession bear image here, but then i would be asked about why i took that photo, or why am i inserting photos that i do not own.

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dgnelson
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A Good Book
In reply to Electriq, 4 months ago

I've found that Michael Freeman's, "The Photographer's Eye", is a very good book.  Learn more about composition, how to create a good image.  It will make you enjoy your photography more.

I'm sure there are other good books as well, I particularly like this one.

Dan

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Sergeg
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Re: Panasonic GF3 and 100-300 lens in St. Petersburg
In reply to Electriq, 4 months ago

Electriq wrote:

Sergeg wrote:

Electriq wrote:

Thank you very much for detailed comments!

Dear Electriq, I wish I new your real name, and who you are.

<...>

My name is Alexander, I'm 28-years programmer with physical (I mean science) education. Photography is only a hobby for me. And I met the analog epoch only in childhood...

I will lend an ear on your advise!

Nice to meet you Alexander (Sasha?), I have 2 fine sons older than you, let me tell you, I learned from my first 1000 mistakes, so time is on your side my young friend.

You have a fine profession and your left brain gifting has been molded by the education system.

Now you have to immerse yourself in the Arts. Learn how to see things from a different perspective. Understanding the Eye/Camera Lens difference as someone once pointed out to me. Our eyes are very objective and we only really see what we want to see, whereas the camera is totally subjective and sees everything as it really is. Hence, you probably don't even see the wires  

Like another engineer here has commented, he only likes to hear the sound of the shutter, ha!

I actually got a giggle out of that. How different we all are.

Keep exploring, looking forward to seeing you developing as an artist and soaring to artistic and spiritual heights.

Sergei

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Electriq
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Re: Panasonic GF3 and 100-300 lens in St. Petersburg
In reply to agentul, 4 months ago

agentul wrote:

Electriq wrote:

My name is Alexander, I'm 28-years programmer with physical (I mean science) education. Photography is only a hobby for me. And I met the analog epoch only in childhood...

I will lend an ear on your advise!

protip: next time you want to post pictures, don't use the C&C label or ask of any opinion whatsoever. i suspect you did it more for the purely technical aspects of your photos (sharpness, aperture, etc.).

i am an engineer and i sometimes take pictures just because because i like pressing the button and hearing the shutter and aperture blades move. i would have inserted the confession bear image here, but then i would be asked about why i took that photo, or why am i inserting photos that i do not own.

I don't regret at all, here I get some interesting advises, mostly psychological.

This discussion resembles me my own response on a question why do I have equalizer knobs on every input channel of sound mixer if all instruments and voices are captured as is without distortion. I said: forgot about the instrument sound without amplification, here the sum signal is constructed from the beginning In pure acoustical sound the room adds it's contribution as eyes and mind add it when looking so I need to do something with signal from matrix... Weird explanation

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GeorgianBay1939
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Re: Panasonic GF3 and 100-300 lens in St. Petersburg
In reply to Electriq, 4 months ago

Electriq wrote:

Thank you for 'thinking algorithm'!

BTW, the dome on the first photo (which you called 'minaret') is a part of Church of the Savior on Blood (at 1,8 km distance; I'm not religious, just architecture).

"Thinking algorithm" is interesting.   I hadn't thought of it that way.   Actually I suspect that it is a heuristically derived algorithm, not to be followed tooooo tightly.

Thank you for the correction and the link to a very interesting site.

In one of your other posts you make an analogy to an audio presentation.   Yes, one of the functions of the artist is to not only produce an engaging set of sounds but to "mix" it in such a way that it appeals to an audience.  Both are required as neither the production nor the "mixing" is sufficient by themselves.  In the same way a good photo has to be well made at the time of exposure and well presented (processed) at the time of "development".

t

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Electriq
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Re: Panasonic GF3 and 100-300 lens in St. Petersburg
In reply to GeorgianBay1939, 4 months ago

GeorgianBay1939 wrote:

Electriq wrote:

Thank you for 'thinking algorithm'!

BTW, the dome on the first photo (which you called 'minaret') is a part of Church of the Savior on Blood (at 1,8 km distance; I'm not religious, just architecture).

"Thinking algorithm" is interesting. I hadn't thought of it that way. Actually I suspect that it is a heuristically derived algorithm, not to be followed tooooo tightly.

Thank you for the correction and the link to a very interesting site.

In one of your other posts you make an analogy to an audio presentation. Yes, one of the functions of the artist is to not only produce an engaging set of sounds but to "mix" it in such a way that it appeals to an audience. Both are required as neither the production nor the "mixing" is sufficient by themselves. In the same way a good photo has to be well made at the time of exposure and well presented (processed) at the time of "development".

t

"Thinking algorithm" is a problem with my English "Step-by-step algorithm" can be called "working algorithm", and my "thinking algorithm" is about heuristics as you suggested

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Electriq
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All Saint Petersburg in one shot
In reply to Electriq, 4 months ago

Obviously this photo needs more room above Saint Isaac's Cathedral, hope if I had a viewfinder, I could see that while shooting

All Saint Petersburg in one shot

The Dome of Church of the Savior on Blood and angel at Alexander Column:

Like this out of focus 1970's building

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Setter Dog
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Re: Panasonic GF3 and 100-300 lens in St. Petersburg
In reply to Electriq, 4 months ago

I liked your pictures! Thanks for sharing. I also have that lens and camera. I usually have it on my g6, but you got good results with the gf3.
Jack

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tnphoto
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Re: Panasonic GF3 and 100-300 lens in St. Petersburg
In reply to Electriq, 4 months ago

Your 100-300mm lends itself well to isolating a subject and letting its surroundings go out of focus. It's important to ask yourself, "what is it that attracts me to this scene?" and then concentrate on that, ruthlessly cropping away any distracting elements. Is there an architectural detail that interests you? Do you want to contrast two different styles or eras? Are you interested in patterns? Do you want to show people (or a person) in relation to a specific building or location? Then what can you leave out that doesn't show that subject?

It seems you like to include the trolley and electrical wires, and if so, that's fine. To me, they are leading lines that lead my eye out of the frame. If you want to eliminate or minimize them, seek out elevated viewpoints, or shoot up a hill to isolate your subject against the sky. What season, what time of day, what light, best shows your subject? Your tool is not the camera, it is the light on your subject.

Photography is a skill that is easy to learn and hard to master. I commend you for your search, and your desire to get better.

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micksh6
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Re: Panasonic GF3 and 100-300 lens in St. Petersburg
In reply to Electriq, 4 months ago

Electriq wrote:

ambercool wrote:

I think the problem here is that you need to post process a little bit more. Not that I condone doing it overly and claiming it's still a photo when it's really art. What I am saying is that our eyes gather light differently so those photos aren't quite real yet. Sometimes you can get it right, especially once you've reached a certain level you can get some pretty close true-to-life images from jpeg.

I'm not going to tell you exactly what to do, but as you can see the camera and lens light gathering relationship can be deceiving so I would bring more things in detail with some extra contrast. This would give it a more dimensional feel. Then I would work on popping some of the colors.

Honestly, your photos are really not bad. I can see why you took those shots regardless of what anyone says. You are imaging it a certain way and all I am asking is for you to bring that vision out. If that is not how you envision it then don't show it. Go back and take that photo a thousand times if you have to. If it would be better if 3 red cars passed by that scene then go each time waiting for that to happen just like in your mind, and snap it.

One other thing you can try is to do sunset/sunrise photos on these scenes. If this is truly dull to you then adding the sun makes a huge difference. I would even compare that amazing moment as giving life to anything God put on this earth.

I hope I wasn't being critical and my intent is to just share my thoughts. Thank you for the shots and opportunity to C&C.

GL!

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-Viet

Thank you for inspiring comment!

This picture is better than ones in OP, I think.
I'm surprised this discussion lasts so long. I thought it would fade sooner, but since it's still active, why not say something.

Saint Petersburg is the city where I was born and grew up. I will always call it my city, despite that I left it many years ago.

Sorry to say but I don't see Saint Petersburg in the way you do. I fail to see how you can live in Saint Petersburg and choose photos in OP to represent this city.

It's hard to be original when photographing St. Petersburg. St Petersburg is sometimes called a museum under the sky, and all its views have already been photographed millions of times.

I used to go back to St. Petersburg almost every year or two, but recently it became more seldom. As a "photographer" I was in St. Petersburg only once, in 2012. "Photographer" is in quotes because I don't think I'm really good at photography, I'm actually a programmer, same as you. I just started to take photography seriously as a main hobby in 2011.

Below is my modest attempt to capture Saint Petersburg in 2012, with E-P3 and E-M1, not to compete with you, but to show how I see this city while trying to avoid cliches.

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/42291485

Mikhail

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