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Messages - Famateur

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Macro / Re: first attempt at stacking macro shots :: )
« on: July 10, 2014, 09:05:55 PM »
Off Topic:

Then you should kick them squarely in the nuts and give their macro lens to a charity shop. It is extremely poor practice to harm your subject in this way. it amounts to nothing more than animal cruelty.

Hard to believe one's respect for life is genuine when it stops short of humans.   ???

On Topic:

These "beginner" shots are simply amazing. Makes me want to pick up a macro lens and take a stab at it myself.

By the way, I didn't know LR/Enfuse could do focus stacking (never thought about it as I use it strictly for blending exposures). I'll have to check it out...

Landscape / Re: What is your review?
« on: July 03, 2014, 07:08:39 PM »
A few thoughts to add to the already good advice you've received so far:


The effect of strong horizontal lines (especially the dark band of land between water and sky) and a more-or-less centered subject (I'm assuming the flowers are the subject) tends to lead to a fairly flat feeling image -- not much in the image gives a feeling of depth or draws me in. This is where leading lines can help.

Experiment with shots from various angles to see if something in the environment can be incorporated into the framing to draw the eye in toward the flowers. If there was a fence, railing or sidewalk near the flowers in your example, you could compose the image in such a way that the fence forms a diagonal line that brings the eye from the edge of the frame toward the flowers. In cases where the surroundings are boring or distracting, a very tight framing might be more appropriate (i.e. fill the frame with your subject).

One other thought on composition: your subject falls off the bottom of the frame a bit. In this particular composition, it leads to a feeling of ambiguity (are the flowers really the subject?).


It can be helpful to avoid including anything in the image that doesn't specifically contribute to the message or composition you're trying to convey or produce.

For example, I took some portraits of a young girl dressed up in her fancy cowgirl duds (she shows horses). The portraits turned out very well, but there were some stains on the wall behind her, so I cloned them out in Lightroom.

In another example, an environmental family portrait I was shooting was on a beautiful grassy slope under some massive cottonwood trees. The framing was just right, but in post, I cloned-out all the little twigs and leaves that were scattered around the grass.

These are small things that few would notice specifically if they saw the original, but snapping back and forth between original and retouched, it becomes obvious how distracting little things can be and how much stronger of an image it is without them.

Eliminating anything (either in composition or in post-processing) that's not relevant to the message or context will add to the strength of the image.

In the example you provided, there are a couple of things I'd have excluded (either in composition, if possible, or in post). The first is in the bottom-left corner. That little patch of muted color from other flowers is a little distracting. I'd clone it out. If it was a field of flowers and other flowers add to the context or feel, they'd stay. In this image, they take away from the flowers the viewer should be paying attention to.

Another thing to consider is the palm fronds in the upper left corner. It can be nice to use things like that to "frame" your subject, but there's nothing on the right side to balance it (all the more necessary when the subject is centered). The lower frond looks a bit dead and breaks the horizon line as it arcs toward the flowers, so I'd clone it out.

Anyway, you probably get the idea -- simplify or remove anything that doesn't strengthen the presentation of the subject.


It's been mentioned that the exposure could be boosted a bit. Once you start shooting in RAW and use a good program to process them (I really like Lightroom), you can manipulate the light to very gently draw the eye to your subject. This can be done by adding a subtle vignette and/or using a local adjustment to boost the exposure of just the subject. Vignettes are a matter of taste, and for me, if it's immediately noticeable that a vignette has been applied, then it takes away from the image. The trick is to apply just enough that the eye naturally moves to the brighter part of the image (the subject). Incidentally, this effect also contributes to a feeling of depth.

So there you go -- three concepts to consider the next time you're shooting (or processing) your photos. There are all kinds of other things to add, but that would be too much. I'd recommend taking a look at Mike Browne's YouTube channel. He has dozens of well-presented, easy to understand tutorials that cover most of the topics of composition, lighting and technique you'd need to get going strong.

Here's a link:

Hopefully this information is helpful! Enjoy your gear and learning how to get the most out of it -- it's a near-endless learning experience. Most of all, enjoy the images you capture.

Take care...

Pricewatch Deals / Re: Deal: Canon Pixma Pro-100 $34 at Adorama
« on: July 02, 2014, 10:03:44 PM »
Maybe someone in the shipping department really wanted the rebate and swiped the box.  :o

Pricewatch Deals / Re: Deal: Canon Pixma Pro-100 $34 at Adorama
« on: July 02, 2014, 09:59:31 PM »
Mine is scheduled for delivery a week from tomorrow (bought it Monday and chose the free shipping option). Here's hoping I get a factory sealed Canon box with UPC!

Pricewatch Deals / Re: Deal: Canon Pixma Pro-100 $34 at Adorama
« on: June 30, 2014, 05:47:40 PM »
I'm in.  :P

This is good timing -- the ink tanks on my ancient i850 are nearly out, and I couldn't stomach purchasing another set of expensive ink for such an out-dated printer (if the ink is even still available). The i850 has been great for the decade I've had it, but I've been meaning to get a printer that can produce professional quality prints for awhile. The rebate pushed me over the edge.

Last fall, I did the "buy-one, get-four-free" deal on Canon's website for photo paper. That snagged me about $175 worth of Canon paper for about $35. It's been sitting in the box it came in since then, waiting for when I finally chose a new printer. Can't wait.

Of course, if the rebate somehow doesn't go through, I'm hosed.  :o

Photography Technique / Re: Taking HDR shots
« on: June 30, 2014, 04:34:30 PM »
+1 for using LR/Enfuse plugin for Lightroom. I've used it with pleasing results (like dark forest shots where the sky above the trees would normally burn to white -- the only challenge there is the effect of wind on the foliage from shot to shot during the bracketed sequence).

Another option is to use Photoshop or the Photomatix Lightroom plugin to merge the raw files into a single 32-bit file. Then you can use the sliders in the Lightroom Develop module to produce a much more natural look using the full dynamic range of the bracketed shots in one image file.

Serge Ramelli has a couple of YouTube podcasts demonstrating this using Photoshop. Here's one link:

Some might not share his zest for saturation and magenta, but the 32-bit technique is what's important here. :P

By the way, Bryce Canyon is simply stunning, don't you think?


I'm so pleased you got a chance to visit my home state, and even more pleased that you enjoyed it so much. From alpine forests to red rock formations in the desert, there's such a variety of landscape and wildlife in Utah. Sometimes I forget how blessed I am to live here.

You've inspired me to take more opportunities to go on photo excursions, and I look forward to your updates to this thread.

Take care...

EOS Bodies / Re: New Sensor Tech in EOS 7D Mark II [CR2]
« on: June 20, 2014, 01:07:20 PM »
Not sure how informative all of the opinions actually are.  I would be more interested in the opinion of the guy testing it at the world cup.  Short of that, all I want to know is when I can place my pre-order.

Too true regarding predicting what the 7DII will actually have in it.

I just like learning all the info about AA Filters, CFAs, ADCs, read noise, et cetera. Even with conflicting arguments back and forth, the preponderance of info gives me a clearer picture of how works a Bayer-type sensor, even if some of the uber-technical details are up for debate.

EOS Bodies / Re: New Sensor Tech in EOS 7D Mark II [CR2]
« on: June 20, 2014, 11:53:57 AM »
This has been another informative thread -- I'm learning a lot. Thanks guys and gals, especially jrista and others on the in-depth tech talk. Very cool stuff.

My guess is that if there's a big improvement in image quality from the sensor, it's probably produced on a new fab. That could also explain the delay in getting the 7DII out the door and perhaps the absence of patents that would point to something totally new.

On the patents things, there is another way they could bring something "totally new" (at least for Canon). They could license or buy a patent from another company. Any thoughts on this? Does Canon take too much pride in their own development to do this? Do they not need to because of the technology they're already working on? Is it still just market dominance that allows them to not need to make a huge leap? (Something tells me that while market dominance might mean they don't need to release a new leap in tech, it doesn't mean they aren't furiously working on developing new tech all the time.)

Anyway, I'm still guessing new fab, but what do you think? Any chance some other company's patent technology shows up in a new killer sensor for the 7DII?

Rule 2:  This thread will undoubedly fall victim to one of the classic blunders!  The most famous of which is "never get involved in a land war in Asia," but only slightly less well-known is this: "Never quote The Princess Bride in a CR Forum thread, it's a sure way to get a thread locked."

LOL...I clearly can't choose the thread in front of me!

...but I will anyway.  :P

#1: Yes, for now. In the long run, I'd love to see as many pixels as possible as long as:

  • It does not take us backward in low-light performance
  • Processing power and storage capacities increase to accommodate it
  • Price for said power and space are reasonably affordable

#2: Most of the time we don't. It would be nice, though, some day, to only rarely hit the technical limitations of exposure for a scene so more creativity can go into composition than exposure.

#3: No idea, as I've never taken any shots of the moon that are worthwhile. :) As for 1DX/6D, I'd love to even have them, so I don't ever think about wanting anything better!

#4: They'll take over when auto-focus can produce the accuracy and frame rates as the slapping mirror and dedicated AF sensor, and when electronic viewfinders meet the capabilities of optical viewfinders, and when battery life can keep up (or battery prices come down significantly), and when sales of DSLRs decline enough in favor of whatever mirrorless options are on the market, and...  It will be a pretty good long time. My guess is no sooner than five years, and probably much, MUCH longer than that (at least professionally), depending on the rate of technological advancement. For consumers, probably much sooner than professionals...

#5: Nope. If money was no issue, I'd have the 1DX, 5DIII and a bevy of lenses that would make me happier than a pig in poo. Besides, I like the Canon menus and ergos...

#6: I love IS on the lenses I have, so why not have it in all of them?  ;) For those who shoot video, IS in wide lenses would probably be nice.

#7: Uh... I guess it depends on what's being captured. Photos? Probably USM. Video? Possibly STM...

#8: Yes. If it can be done, why not? I'd rather ignore a feature that I have and don't need than, even once, wish it was there to use but not have it.

#9: I've never actually looked at anything at DxOMark in any detail. The banter about it on this forum, however, has brought me much entertainment. :)

Oh crap -- the rules!  :o

I don't have anything to back up my opinions. Damn. Oh well -- if any of my opinions match Neuro's, can we just use his citations and evidence?  ;D

EOS Bodies / Re: Can Canon deliver a FF sensor that is class leading?
« on: June 04, 2014, 11:19:50 AM »
I'd be capturing more high-res blur...

LOL...I love that description.

This has been an interesting and informative thread, especially learning about on- and off-sensor ADC and the effect that choice has on noise, et cetera. Thanks for all the super-geek explanations. Much of it goes over my head, but I'm starting to get the idea.

In the meantime, I sure love taking photos. :P

It's not often we get to enjoy moments like that, but to capture it in such a beautiful image is most excellent. Well done. Thanks for sharing!

Animal Kingdom / Re: Portrait of your "Best friend"
« on: May 16, 2014, 07:07:41 PM »

Sundown at the Pumpkin Patch

Yeti Rosabelle (Rosie)

A great Griffin shot,  love it.

Thanks! Nice to see someone recognize the breed (and not think it's a German Wirehaired :P ).

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