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Author Topic: Help Me Get Better - Crashing Waves  (Read 6975 times)

Promature

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Help Me Get Better - Crashing Waves
« on: November 16, 2012, 07:22:10 AM »
The clouds didn't cooperate for a nice colorful shoot, but I figured it would give me good experience on shutter speed and aperture to get the affect I wanted.  Overall, I'm not that impressed and I was hoping to get some advice so that when the clouds and my schedule do cooperate, I can take better pictures.  Thank you in advance.
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Help Me Get Better - Crashing Waves
« on: November 16, 2012, 07:22:10 AM »

Promature

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Re: Help Me Get Better - Crashing Waves
« Reply #1 on: November 16, 2012, 07:22:57 AM »
More....
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Promature

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Re: Help Me Get Better - Crashing Waves
« Reply #2 on: November 16, 2012, 07:23:20 AM »
and two more...
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Kernuak

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Re: Help Me Get Better - Crashing Waves
« Reply #3 on: November 16, 2012, 04:00:10 PM »
First thing, is you need to make sure your horizon is level. For me, waves are a bit like sunsets, they need some supporting element to do them justice. Just like pretty colours don't make a good sunset picture, a crashing wave doesn't make a good wave picture on its own. It's all about finding a good composition. With waves, you need another strong subject, traditionally, that could be a high cliff, a pier or a coastal house or similar. However, it could also work if you zoom in to a rockface to make the wave dominate more. Also, photography is all about getting the lighting and exposure right. For some scenes, that may actually mean underexposure, particularly if the scene is shot at dusk, but the wave does need to stand out. For me, the compositions don't work, as they lack a strong focal point and I would play around with increasing the exposure at least by a full stop to see if the waves stand out more. That will give you some ideas for next time. On the plus side, you have captured the motion of the waves well and thre is a real sense of movement and at least some drama, you just need to find some way to enhance that drama with a stronger composition and better lighting/exposure.
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robbymack

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Re: Help Me Get Better - Crashing Waves
« Reply #4 on: November 16, 2012, 04:30:55 PM »
I agree with kernuak above. There isn't really anything special about these compositions, I'd spend my time working on that before worrying about the waves and exposure (also your exposures look all over the place but they generally look a good stop under exposed). I'd say of the set the third from the last has the most potential but the horizon is all messed up and it's basically in the middle (remember your rule of thirds). While I am all for breaking the rules there wasn't any reason for it in these captures. You did do a decent job of coveying the action of the waves, another thought is also to slow the shutter way down and capture what appears to be a calm ocean. I would recommend you start with reading a few books, understanding exposure by Bryan Peterson is a good place to start. Then also pick up a book on compositions. Spend a few days reading and you'll start to see the world in a whole new light (pun intended).

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Re: Help Me Get Better - Crashing Waves
« Reply #5 on: November 16, 2012, 04:40:44 PM »
These are under-exposed and seem handheld.

For great landscape shots, good compositions, small apertures, and long exposures are basic fundamentals. A solid tripod is strongly recommended.

SwissBear

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Re: Help Me Get Better - Crashing Waves
« Reply #6 on: November 16, 2012, 05:01:04 PM »
i like image 2306 - its like the impact of a bombshell (not that i ever seen one, but hollywood says it looks that way. But as others said, underexposed because of the sky and all the white foam.
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Re: Help Me Get Better - Crashing Waves
« Reply #6 on: November 16, 2012, 05:01:04 PM »

Waterloo

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Re: Help Me Get Better - Crashing Waves
« Reply #7 on: November 16, 2012, 05:24:59 PM »
A quick twiddle of the sliders in Lightroom (I couldn't resist):

Promature

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Re: Help Me Get Better - Crashing Waves
« Reply #8 on: November 16, 2012, 05:47:57 PM »
A quick twiddle of the sliders in Lightroom (I couldn't resist):

Wow, that looks fantastic.  I obviously need to learn how to use Lightroom.  I have it, but obviously not using it to its full potential.

Thank you everyone for the feedback.  I agree that they all seem a little under exposed.  It was pretty dark out, which I was trying to convey, but they still seem too dark.

As for a tripod, I am going to wait for Black Friday/Cyber Monday to see if I can find a decent deal on a Monfrotto tripod and ballhead; my current tripod cost $20 and it couldn't even support the weight of my T2i with the 18-55 2.8 (the plate and locking mechanism were pathetically overloaded).
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Shawn L

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Re: Help Me Get Better - Crashing Waves
« Reply #9 on: November 16, 2012, 05:59:30 PM »
I've recently been interested in tripods, too. You might find this site helpful:

http://www.ronmartblog.com/2011/05/tripod-recommendations2011-part.html

It includes recommendations ranging from very affordable to not so much.

Shawn L.

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Re: Help Me Get Better - Crashing Waves
« Reply #10 on: November 16, 2012, 06:51:32 PM »
Here is one I took in Puerto Rico with a T3i and edited in Lightroom 3.
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Waterloo

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Re: Help Me Get Better - Crashing Waves
« Reply #11 on: November 16, 2012, 08:53:09 PM »
Here's one from my archives. Hasselblad 500CM and the 50mm wide angle lens. Taken at Point Lobos, probably in the late 1980s. I'm thinking it was one of the Ektachromes, but can't remember. Anyhow that was one of my favorite places to photograph. Need to make a trip back....

Actually, I just printed this 22 X 22 and need to put it in its frame. I would have loved to have had the clouds from the OPs photo.
« Last Edit: November 16, 2012, 08:59:40 PM by Waterloo »

Eli

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Re: Help Me Get Better - Crashing Waves
« Reply #12 on: November 16, 2012, 09:46:06 PM »
A great simple tip for composition is to try to have something in the foreground, middleground and background; example, interesting rock formation in the foreground, the waves crashing in the middleground, and the rest of the space showing the sky and clouds in the background. Like Waterloo's photo above, great example.
A great way to do this also is to actually get closer to the rocks, your photos are lacking an appealing object in the foreground to create interest and draw the attention of the eyes.
Practice rule of thirds and 2d composition. :)

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Re: Help Me Get Better - Crashing Waves
« Reply #12 on: November 16, 2012, 09:46:06 PM »

Promature

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Re: Help Me Get Better - Crashing Waves
« Reply #13 on: November 16, 2012, 11:14:30 PM »
How much do you all think I should spend on a Tripod?  I feel like I've read a lot of different articles, some of which say you should spend $800-$1,200, which seems like I'd be better off just getting a 5DIII and cranking up the ISO.  Would I be disappointed with a tripod w/ ballhead that costs $150-$200?
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/131427-REG/Slik_615_315_Pro_700DX_Tripod_with.html
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agierke

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Re: Help Me Get Better - Crashing Waves
« Reply #14 on: November 16, 2012, 11:33:46 PM »
slik is an outright terrible brand. i would not spend money on their tripods. avoid promaster as well. total ripoffs.

manfrotto is by far the best in terms of cost for performance. they produce high quality products for reasonable prices. i would also not get a ball head if the intention is to shoot landscapes. i would recommend a geared 3 way pan head. i own the manfrotto 410 geared head and it is a great performer and built to last a very long time. B&H has them listed at 225.00. one of the absolute best purchases i have ever made in photography!

there is a tremendous variety of tripod legs to mount the head to and it depends greatly upon what your needs are as to which set of legs is best suited for you. the variables you want to consider when purchasing a set of legs are min height, max height, center column extension, locking mechanisms, and whether the legs move independent of the center column. i currently own an older manfrotto that does not have independently moving legs and i really wish they weren't attached to the center column as it restricts my ability to squeeze the tripod into creative positions. i also like tripods that are capable of a very low minimum height yet still allow for a reasonable max height. independently moving legs will allow for this as opposed to legs that are attached to the center column. a set of legs can run anywhere from $150 to over $500.

a tripod and head is not something you want to cheap out on as a bad tripod will totally defeat the purpose of getting a tripod in the first place. buy manfrotto and it will last for decades. buy cheap and you will find that it will not function as it should and you will be shopping for another tripod soon.

if you have deep pockets....go gitzo.
« Last Edit: November 17, 2012, 12:27:21 AM by agierke »
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Re: Help Me Get Better - Crashing Waves
« Reply #14 on: November 16, 2012, 11:33:46 PM »