Because I have to start somewhere....

Started Oct 31, 2013 | Discussions thread
jbf Veteran Member • Posts: 3,544
Re: Thanks for your comments....

Tee Dub wrote:

Nice work Nick, thanks for the illustration and example. I see what you mean. I'm really starting from scratch here and am finding out quickly just how much is involved. I hope I have the determination and stamina to see it through. I am also finding I'm learning only so much reading critique of others work. Having some skin of my own in the game changes things, hence the post.

Yes, both an experiment and an exercise JBF.

Glad it was just an experiment.  I was trying to be careful with what I said in case it was a cherished family photo or something.  You never know.

I did have a setting on the camera called "vivid" engaged and now I know what "over saturation" means. ; )

When shooting jpeg, I turn down both the saturation and the contrast to the minimum setting on my camera.  If you don't want to do any post processing then it's okay to set those higher on the camera.  For anyone who does a little editing, it's easy to increase saturation and contrast in post processing.  However, if the camera generates an oversaturated photo or one that loses detail in the highlights or shadows due to excessive contrast, it's much more difficult to rescue the photo.  If you're familiar with adjustment layers and masking, you can apply color and contrast exactly where you want to apply it on specific areas of the photo rather than having the camera control it.

I'll also be looking more carefully at what is going on in the background and not become so fixated on my subject before I pull the trigger. This turned into an exercise of trying to make something of a poorly composed picture. Being now aware of what is involved in trying to make something out of nothing in post will help me sort things out better on the front end.

Many, many times I've seen people post one of their own photos along with a photo they found on the internet and ask how to edit their photo to make it look like the one from the internet.  More often than not, the answer is that the photo from the internet had great lighting and the composition was planned to make the subject stand out in the frame.  Other posters who are good retouchers will take a shot at retouching the person's photo and they often make it look better, but it doesn't look like the photo they're trying to emulate because the OP's shot lacked good lighting and composition.

Having said that, I enjoy retouching.  The large majority of the best photos you see on a site like this one have been edited.  It's a critical component.  Even simple edits can completely transform an image.  Don't give up on it.

The child was just a face in the crowd who I'll likely never see again. What caught my attention was that her demeanor and expression just seemed in conflict with her age. Thanks for the tip on eyes.

I was thinking the exact same thing about her expression and her age.

So my take away here is what you guys are saying is that as a rule of thumb my Shutter Speed shouldn't be less than my Focal Length ? (Is it just that simple ?) and that if I had more light, my ISO could have come down and sharpened things up a bit as a result ?

I have been shopping DSLR's but realize the guy behind the lens needs a ton of work first !

Well... if you're committed to photography and you have the money, you'll get better results with a DSLR while you're learning.  You can automate whatever you want to automate on a DSLR so it doesn't have to be any more difficult to use than a P&S.  You need good lenses.  That adds to the cost.  You also need to be willing to lug more equipment around which is an adjustment.  I have a very old DSLR that only takes 4MP images and a newer P&S.  The DSLR photos almost always come out better.  That's one person's experience, so don't run to the store based on just my opinion.

Thanks again, I really appreciate you guys taking the time to point me in the right direction and call stuff out.


Best of luck,


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