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Author Topic: Do I need a better camera or a better pair of hands?  (Read 9030 times)

torger

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Re: Do I need a better camera or a better pair of hands?
« Reply #15 on: December 21, 2011, 09:38:20 AM »
I'm doing my best to get a good composition, but I feel that I'm not always getting the best one out of situation. Are there any recommendation on this? I've read some books about composition or maybe I need time to practice more?

I think practice is the best thing, photo a lot all the time (remember, it's digital, so it is cheap these day to practice), and in post-processing look at your own pictures and think "why is this good/bad?" and "how could this have been made better?" and try to find some key items to think about. Looking at other photographers pictures too to get inspiration, and also think about them what makes them good/bad. When I look at your pictures it seems to me that you have enough artistic talent to just let it grow by practice, you don't need to read that much, although that does not hurt of course. If you have friends/colleagues with good taste for photographs and good at giving constructive criticism it can be worthwhile too.

When working you probably don't have much time to think, and then you need good intuition and that you get by a lot of practice.

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Re: Do I need a better camera or a better pair of hands?
« Reply #15 on: December 21, 2011, 09:38:20 AM »

danski0224

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Re: Do I need a better camera or a better pair of hands?
« Reply #16 on: December 21, 2011, 09:46:26 AM »
I think your shots look great.

If I was to offer something, I would say that they look a touch overexposed to me... but I do not make money with a camera, and my monitor is not calibrated so take it for what it is worth.


I want to get out of my camera everything I can, but I feel that I cannot achieve level of few local photographers right now. I'm not sure whether the camera applies limitations or it is me who needs another way of thinking.

I own 7D, use fixed lenses and some additional tools (flashes, reflectors) to achieve the best results I can. The guy who's photos I've posted below uses 1D IV, 5D II, 1Ds III, fixed lenses, flashes and reflectors.

I've formed an opinion that better color transformation (making the colors richer, extending separate colors' depth) can be achieved only on a new camera. Could you please take a look at images below and compare the results we've got to identify what I'm missing.

Some of my Work in Progress..... www.dftimages.com

nightbreath

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Re: Do I need a better camera or a better pair of hands?
« Reply #17 on: December 21, 2011, 09:52:45 AM »
To think about the same thing in other words.  If you can capture the content of those really nice shots you've posted more or less the same and only the colors are off, then you are doing things behind the camera just fine.  If you want to test how well things are going behind the camera for you vs. what you are trying to match, take both your study images and some samples of your own images into an editor and Desaturate (Black and White) them all and you will see if there are other areas that you need to focus on as well.  You also have a decent bit of play room in editing to re-adjust overall exposure as well as highlights and shadow areas, especially if shooting in RAW in case just a bit of curves or RAW sliders will get you the match you are looking for.

This shot was made at f/2 on 85mm:



You can compare it to this one:



I've got a feeling that when I edit photos in Lightroom texture starts to disappear to soon comparing to what I could get on full-frame. Or it's self-deception, I don't know.
« Last Edit: December 21, 2011, 10:07:40 AM by nightbreath »
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92101media

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Re: Do I need a better camera or a better pair of hands?
« Reply #18 on: December 21, 2011, 10:00:38 AM »
For composition, you can take 2 'L' shaped pieces of non-transparent paper or cardboard, and place them at opposite diagonals, and then move them both up & down and left & right over your screen or print, thereby masking different amounts & areas of the photo, to see the effect of different compositions.

For instance in your 2nd photo (the one of the bride gazing off to the side) you could crop the entire left 3rd of the picture, that way the subject wouldn't be dead center, and with the left side of the picture cropped, the open space she is gazing into on the right side of the picture would gain more impact, creating a more wistful or dreamy look. BTW, I love the rich colors in this photo.

I like the shot through the foliage of the 1st photo, but again you could crop the right 1/4th and the bottom 1/6th to eliminate uninteresting detail & draw the eye more to the couple in the center.

The tight crop on the 3rd pic is fine, and the pic overall is nice, if not terribly exciting. It's a serene look, but I'd rather see her eyes or some emotion on her face.

I'm not a big fan of the 4th pic. I understand that maybe you/they were going for something fun, but by doing so they've completely covered their faces, thereby missing out on potentially the most interesting element of the shot (the expression/emotion on their faces).

Also, while I do think both sets of photos look great, they seem to indicate 2 slightly different styles to me. The 1st set are more classical, tender & serene; while the 2nd set seem more carefree & playful (except the shoe shot, of course). While some classical/wistful shots are great, you could also research some tips or strategies for bringing out some of the emotional or playful sides of your subject's personalities. Not always easy to do, for sure, but something worth considering.
« Last Edit: December 21, 2011, 10:05:19 AM by 92101media »

bycostello

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Re: Do I need a better camera or a better pair of hands?
« Reply #19 on: December 21, 2011, 10:01:40 AM »
i guarantee you it is nothing to do with camera, but your camera craft and post production...  once u got the look u like, u prob can sort an action for it to create it at a touch of a button..

unfocused

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Re: Do I need a better camera or a better pair of hands?
« Reply #20 on: December 21, 2011, 10:34:07 AM »
Nightbreath: There is nothing wrong with any of your photos and most of the "advice" you are getting here is bad.

Compositions are great, lighting perfect, post-production excellent.

Do the other photographer's images look slightly different? Yes. Different photographers, different styles. There are an infinite number of variables in shooting and post production, so it's impossible to tell from the images what he is doing differently. If you see something you like in his work, then experiment. No matter what happens, it will be a learning experience.

One thing though, you have a really unfair advantage living in Ukraine, since it has one of the highest ratios of beautiful to ugly. Feel sorry for those poor blokes who have to try to make plump, pasty-faced brides and grooms look good.
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nightbreath

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Re: Do I need a better camera or a better pair of hands?
« Reply #21 on: December 21, 2011, 10:39:15 AM »
For composition, you can take 2 'L' shaped pieces of non-transparent paper or cardboard, and place them at opposite diagonals, and then move them both up & down and left & right over your screen or print, thereby masking different amounts & areas of the photo, to see the effect of different compositions.

I like the idea of playing with composition, I think the discussion was turned into wrong direction. Here are few examples of what I like in terms of composition:







I know that the examples I gave before are not the best composed ones, but I found them the best to show what my concerns are.
Wedding photography. My personal website: http://luxuryphoto.com.ua

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Re: Do I need a better camera or a better pair of hands?
« Reply #21 on: December 21, 2011, 10:39:15 AM »

Jettatore

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Re: Do I need a better camera or a better pair of hands?
« Reply #22 on: December 21, 2011, 10:46:36 AM »
To think about the same thing in other words.  If you can capture the content of those really nice shots you've posted more or less the same and only the colors are off, then you are doing things behind the camera just fine.  If you want to test how well things are going behind the camera for you vs. what you are trying to match, take both your study images and some samples of your own images into an editor and Desaturate (Black and White) them all and you will see if there are other areas that you need to focus on as well.  You also have a decent bit of play room in editing to re-adjust overall exposure as well as highlights and shadow areas, especially if shooting in RAW in case just a bit of curves or RAW sliders will get you the match you are looking for.

This shot was made at f/2 on 85mm:



You can compare it to this one:



I've got a feeling that when I edit photos in Lightroom texture starts to disappear to soon comparing to what I could get on full-frame. Or it's self-deception, I don't know.

You've improved the shot a decent bit in editing vs. the original but you've also deteriorated it in spots, this is exactly where your weakness is.  You've over-saturated areas in the edit and have made the entire image a bit florescent and haven't leveraged other options that are available and that would have worked much better.  You don't need a new camera if color is your issue and concern, you need to work on your editing skills.  Best regards.

nightbreath

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Re: Do I need a better camera or a better pair of hands?
« Reply #23 on: December 21, 2011, 10:50:10 AM »
Nightbreath: There is nothing wrong with any of your photos and most of the "advice" you are getting here is bad.

Compositions are great, lighting perfect, post-production excellent.

Do the other photographer's images look slightly different? Yes. Different photographers, different styles. There are an infinite number of variables in shooting and post production, so it's impossible to tell from the images what he is doing differently. If you see something you like in his work, then experiment. No matter what happens, it will be a learning experience.

One thing though, you have a really unfair advantage living in Ukraine, since it has one of the highest ratios of beautiful to ugly. Feel sorry for those poor blokes who have to try to make plump, pasty-faced brides and grooms look good.

Thank you so much for this input. Frankly speaking, what I want from a new camera is the same jump I've felt when I moved from 400D to 7D. It was a huge new world to experiment in and the images taken out of the camera looked quite different.

What I personally want to achieve is the ability to do photos in any style I saw to be able to get out the best of every possible situation. It's not about being a good photographer to earn money, it's about inspiring yourself when you see results.

Tool in my eyes is sort of a toy that gives you additional inspiration. In this post I wanted to hear everyones thoughts about the direction I should follow. Any comments (including critiques) are welcome.
Wedding photography. My personal website: http://luxuryphoto.com.ua

nightbreath

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Re: Do I need a better camera or a better pair of hands?
« Reply #24 on: December 21, 2011, 10:57:45 AM »
You've improved the shot a decent bit in editing vs. the original but you've also deteriorated it in spots, this is exactly where your weakness is.  You've over-saturated areas in the edit and have made the entire image a bit florescent and haven't leveraged other options that are available and that would have worked much better.  You don't need a new camera if color is your issue and concern, you need to work on your editing skills.  Best regards.

Thank you for your comment. Could you be more specific on the "deterioration it in spots"?
« Last Edit: December 21, 2011, 04:30:21 PM by nightbreath »
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torger

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Re: Do I need a better camera or a better pair of hands?
« Reply #25 on: December 21, 2011, 11:01:17 AM »
I've got a feeling that when I edit photos in Lightroom texture starts to disappear to soon comparing to what I could get on full-frame. Or it's self-deception, I don't know.

Technically speaking, the 5Dmk2 has better tonal range than the 7D. ISO400 on the 5Dmk2 has about the same tonal range/precision as ISO100 on the 7D. You can look at DxOmark measurements for example. At base ISO I don't think it has makes much of a difference though, it is good enough on the 7D. But if you have really fine eyes you might see a slight difference.

nightbreath

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Re: Do I need a better camera or a better pair of hands?
« Reply #26 on: December 21, 2011, 11:07:02 AM »
Can anyone share a RAW headshot from a full-frame camera to play with it?  :)
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Gumbum

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Re: Do I need a better camera or a better pair of hands?
« Reply #27 on: December 21, 2011, 11:10:27 AM »
Let me start by saying that I think you take beautiful pictures.
When that is said, I know exactly what you mean with the image quality that seems unobtainable on a crop camera like the 7D. A full frame camera just adds that extra pop...an almost 3D'ish effect. Medium format cameras adds even more of that effect.

Am I the only one seeing this?

Odd first post perhaps but reading this thread is kinda like twilight zone...why won't anybody give this guy a straight answer?

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Re: Do I need a better camera or a better pair of hands?
« Reply #27 on: December 21, 2011, 11:10:27 AM »

nightbreath

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Re: Do I need a better camera or a better pair of hands?
« Reply #28 on: December 21, 2011, 11:18:31 AM »
Let me start by saying that I think you take beautiful pictures.
When that is said, I know exactly what you mean with the image quality that seems unobtainable on a crop camera like the 7D. A full frame camera just adds that extra pop...an almost 3D'ish effect. Medium format cameras adds even more of that effect.

Am I the only one seeing this?

Odd first post perhaps but reading this thread is kinda like twilight zone...why won't anybody give this guy a straight answer?

Thank you so much! This is one of the factors I was looking for.

Also wanted to achieve good results in color transformation, so when I desaturate Reds and saturate Oranges a little more than I do it with 7D I don't see wracked texture on my monitor.
Wedding photography. My personal website: http://luxuryphoto.com.ua

nightbreath

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Re: Do I need a better camera or a better pair of hands?
« Reply #29 on: December 21, 2011, 11:49:35 AM »
Does anyone know if the street pictures I want to get might be done by combination of artificial and natural light at the same time (flash to fill shadows / freeze the moment and reflector to add warmth). Or would it be a bad kind of experiment?
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Re: Do I need a better camera or a better pair of hands?
« Reply #29 on: December 21, 2011, 11:49:35 AM »