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Messages - Kernuak

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Animal Kingdom / Re: Show your Bird Portraits
« on: May 21, 2012, 05:00:22 PM »

Landscape / Re: Back in the Lake District
« on: May 21, 2012, 04:55:20 PM »
I passed through the lakes last week on the way back from Scotland, but only stopped over one night, overlooking Ullswater. I did see the mountains briefly, before it started chucking it down again. At least there wasn't any snow like in Scotland though :P. It's good to see someone using a telephoto (even if it is a macro :P) for landscapes. I often use my 135, but I still rarely force myself to use the 300 for anything other than wildlife.

Animal Kingdom / Re: How much time do you spend in post ?
« on: May 21, 2012, 04:50:48 PM »
When it comes to wildlife, I rarely spend more than 5-10 minutes in post (mostly in Lightroom), in fact, it often takes me longer to keyword. I tend to spend a bit more time on landscapes, but not a huge amount, unless there are some images I am looking to create a certain look in, then I might spend half an hour or so or on rare occasions (especially B&W), perhaps a couple of hours.

If you were trying to get a spooky effect, then it doesn't really work. The moon is overexposed, it really needs to be exposed so that you can see teh detail, for that sort of effect or it needs to imply, by the effect of moonrays through a woodland canopy. To get the effect you were trying for here, I think you would really need to blend two shots, one with a tree silhouette and one with the moon, with detail. Also, try reading about some of the rules of composition, the most important one is probably the rule of thirds. While rules don't have to be (and in fact shouldn't be) followed religously, it is important that you know the most imortant ones, so that you can follow them when needed or experimnt with breaking them.

Portrait / Re: Portraits of my GF, Would like feedback!!
« on: May 09, 2012, 06:32:26 PM »
How does this look to you? You may want to look at distortion correction, as the crop accentuates it and make it look like the camera wasn't level (even though the centre column shows it is), but it gives you an idea of how the crop and different processing looks.

Portrait / Re: Portraits of my GF, Would like feedback!!
« on: May 09, 2012, 06:22:51 PM »
Haha welcome to the world of online critique!  Hope you have thick skin and realize that ultimately it's all about expressing yourself through images, not following rules or seeking mass approval.  It's great to get tips from people, but eventually, you have to follow your own intuition. 
In some ways, that is probably the best advice in the thread. It is very important to develop your own style and if everyone did things the same way, photography wouldn't develop as an art and it would be pretty boring. That said, I think part of the reason the colours look a little odd, is because of the grey door, because you expect grey to be neutral, your eyes are screaming that something isn't right. Certainly, the colours don't look as off on the tree shots, even though I know they have been treated in a similar way. One other comment about colour, for me the idea of vintage and warm don't necessarily go together, rather, I think of low saturation or B&W when I think vintage, so that's something to consider. Compositionally, I think looking out of frame is ok and it is nice to see something different (I have tried something similar and got criticised). However, I think it would work better if you included the whole of her neckline instead of cropping quite so close. For the full length shots, have a go at cropping the left and top, so that the wall is removed and see what you think. Cropping is always a matter of personal taste to some degree, but I think thre are some rules that are worth following or at least considering. I'm not really a portrait photographer, but some rules of composition follow through to a number of types of photography.

Will it have a feature to search the net and nuke redundant posts in threads that cover the same sh*t over and over?
I wouldn't hold your breath :P.

Portrait / Re: Portraits of my GF, Would like feedback!!
« on: May 09, 2012, 03:42:13 AM »
For me the tones are too warm and don't look natural. Trying going back the originals (which are cooler) and do a simple curves adjustment, using a medium contrast curve. You can make some further adjustments afterwards, but I think that will give you a better starting point. Once you have a processing style that works and looks more natural, you can start experimenting with compositions.

EOS Bodies / Re: Is this heresy?
« on: May 09, 2012, 03:32:53 AM »
I think one important thing to consider is weight, she may not appreciate carrying around the 7D, let alone a 1 series camera. Also, consider how it fits in her hands. If she has small hands, then something smaller may be more appropriate.

5D MK III Sample Images / Re: 5D3 for landscapes
« on: May 09, 2012, 03:29:39 AM »
Interesting shots Tcapp and you've given us a good case study which is greatly aided by the comments by kernuak. They are informative and a good learning experience for me.  Thank you both.
Glad it helped you both.

5D MK III Sample Images / Re: 5D3 for landscapes
« on: May 08, 2012, 04:36:07 PM »
When using HDR, you have to be really careful with how a scene is presented. Landscapes really need a full dynamic range, including shadows. For me, the shadow areas are lacking, making it look unreal. This is another problem with HDR, I find that HDR photos look too surreal. That's fine if it is the look  you're looking for, but it isn't something that is desirable in traditional landscape photogprahy. Also, when shooting water, it usually looks better to have some texture in rivers and waterfalls, although the misty look works well for coastal scenes. The textures help to emphasise the movement. Again, this is where shadows are important, to show the definition. Another effect of the HDR, combined with the ND filter is the overexposed water, turning it bright white with blown highlights. The HDR has also created haloes in the first image in the sky and the sky has also become overexposed. Personally, I would reduce the exposure overall by around one stop to give some shadows and recover the detail in the sky. Use of grad filters would also help to even up the exposure to bring everything back in range. As to composition, I'm not sure that the extreme wide angle works. The distortion has made it difficuilt to get a sense of reference to level the river and in the case of some of the images, there isn't a strong element to focus on when viewing. It works ok in the first one, but often with rivers, you need a strong diagonal to act as a leading line and the combination of wideangle and distortion has diluted that. Again, the texture of the flowing water would help here to draw the eye in. Many landscape photographers are used to getting wet feet or wear waders, as that way, they can compose on the diagonal much more easily. You do have to be careful not to end up floating down the river though. What I do like is the the texture of the leaves and trees, so if you can preserve that but making it look more natural, then it will improve the images greatly.

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: 5D3 Dynamic Range
« on: May 08, 2012, 03:51:16 PM »
I have a few questions. The first is why did you blend 5 exposures. As you say, that tends to accentuate noise and I find that long exposure shots like this don't have that much dynamic range. In addition, digital sensors don't cope as well with film when exposing for several minutes (i.e. 15 or so minutes plus), I have seen that comment from Nikon shooters too. The second question is how much sharpening was performed. Again, sharpening tends to accentuate noise (or at least make it more visible) I tend not to sharpen, unless I intend to print, in which casem the reproduction isn't large enough to show any noise. The final questions are how long was the exposure and how much did you push a) the image overall and b) the shadows, as the EXIF info has been wiped.

EOS Bodies / Re: Up the game
« on: May 07, 2012, 11:37:52 AM »
"D800 comes close to MF like S2 and IQ180 in other aspects, but clearly fails in midtones."

To me, midtones are far more important than DR. Ok, so you might be able to process the RAW to get more out of the midtones, but that takes time and processing power. I have a 3-4 year old Macbook and that struggles with the RAW files from the 5D MkII, a similar vintage machine. I upgraded my desktop around a year ago and recently replaced the Macbook to cope with the large files from my 5D MkII, but I'd hate to think how much more power I'd need to cope with the output from the D800.

Portrait / Re: Outside my Comfort Zone
« on: May 05, 2012, 09:52:53 AM »
Thanks. A judge criticised the lack of catchlights on the first one and suggested that some should be put in, but it wouldn't have suited the mood I wanted to generate. He also criticised the other one for the model not looking at the camera :P.

I would say try to rid of the shadows in the second one, I perfer the look of her looking the other way, we need to diverse our work or we'll all look the same!
Thanks, my thoughts exactly, without trying things photography as a whole won't progress. They may not always work as intended, but I think it's important to try out new ideas (even if only new to you). The shadows were deliberate to try to give more of a moody feel, plus he has quite dark hair anyway, so I don't think there is a great deal of detail to pull out (not that I've tried).

Lenses / Re: Canon 24-70L vs primes (24L, 35L etc)
« on: May 05, 2012, 09:16:58 AM »
Quality wise there really isn't much difference once you get into the F/4.0+ range but there isn't a single zoom that will look as nice as my 35 or 50 @ 1.4 or my 135 @ 2.0.

YMMV though :)

I would disagree. There is simply no contest between my 24-105 (which is usually considered on a par with or sharper then the 24-70) and my 24 f/1.4 MkII or 135 at any aperture that I tend to use (the gap is undoubtedly smaller around f/8 though). Even my 50mm f/1.4 is a little sharper, with less CA and flare, although I'm inclined to prefer the look of images from the 24-105, due to the difference in contrast. However, I wouldn't want to carry all the primes around all of the time instead of the 24-105, as they aren't as flexibile. Also, the 24-70 MkII is likely to match the primes in image quality, judging by recent releases (such as the 70--200 MkII).

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