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Calling all pro/veteran photographers

Discussion in 'Digital Photography, Home and Portable Electronics' started by sAAdC, Dec 5, 2010.

  1. Thug

    Thug Ancient Guru

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    I actually quite like no.1 and the last one (no.21), but think (as Finchy said) that a few of them may need the white balance looking at a little bit...

    [​IMG]]

    Try hitting the 'auto' button for balance/levels/tone/colour etc, just to see what it does. If there is no improvement, undo it.
     
  2. sAAdC

    sAAdC Master Guru

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    @ Finchwizard and PCthug thanks alot for the comments and tips, i really appreciate them :)

    @ PCthug playing around with the white balance actually make no. 1 look more natural. Will try and do the same for the others.

    Anyway I was thinking about what you said about a picture being unique and original for it to win in a major competition and well i decided to show you guys the original of no. 14, straight from the camera! Here it is:

    [​IMG]
    By saadc at 2010-12-06

    So what could i do to improve it???
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2010
  3. Thug

    Thug Ancient Guru

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    Please tell me that you didnt take it in B&W.
    ALWAYS use RAW, then you know that you cant get any better.
    You can always change it to something else then, but you can never get any better if you take it using any other format.
     
  4. Finchwizard

    Finchwizard Don Apple

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    Yea I agree with PCThug.

    Always take shots in RAW. Then you're not restricted by anything.

    I'm sure everyone has their own techniques in editing, and it's just how you're trained and what you're inspired by, but here's a quick edit of the lion pic.

    [​IMG]
     

  5. sAAdC

    sAAdC Master Guru

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    Well I guess I'm gonna be slapped for what about to say, so.....

    I've never actually shot in RAW mode!!!!!

    Why??? Because I don't really edit my photos, because i was taught to do it right the 1st time, (if you get what I mean i.e. my photography style is somewhat similar to the old film days). And I also just recently switched from film, like almost 2 years ago from a Nikon F4s to a a 350D. So yah, i'm not that keen on editing photos!

    Well anyway I guess I'll switch to RAW on Sunday when i go to the national park. Stay tuned for more photos :).

    @ Finchwizard = I appreciate you taking your time to edit my photo but the photo looks more blueish to me and that doesn't really appeal to me because the photo was taken in the "golden period" of the morning hence the yellowness. So I kinda prefer PCthug's version more! I'm sorry :) .

    Thanks to everyone who commented, especially PCthug, Finchwizard and Scoobydooby. You guys have kinda made me realize what it takes to win a competition.

    So lemme repeat.....STAY TUNED for more photos. Cheers
     
  6. Thug

    Thug Ancient Guru

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    WHAT? you never shoot in RAW???? :confused::eek3::gape::whip:

    Thats like saying 'i never shot in 35mm, just 110'.

    RAW is the equivilant to the digital negative.

    I used to shoot negatives and slide film.
    With slide you HAD TO get it right the first time in the camera and were stuck with what you had. This was because the process (called E35) was a 'one time only', then it was fixed. If you got your timings wrong, then tough.

    When i shot in negative (mainly black and white due to costs) i would develop my own in my dark room (loft/attick).

    I made small devices with flat shapes on the end of thin wire (actually welding wire). These shapes were of different sizes and made out of card.
    I would use these to allow more or less light onto parts of the photo where I wanted it to be during the processing. I would also use my hads to do a similar thing.

    This is called dodging and burning.

    ALL photographers (who were not just doing basic things) used this technique to enhance their photo and make it that much better.
    Photo manipulation isnt a new thing, it has been done for MANY years, way before computers were invented. Its just that its now that much easier to do.

    Yes, you SHOULD get it right in the camera in the first place, but there is ALWAYS a small part of the photo that needs a tweek or two.

    You may want to darken a sky (and leave the ground as it is) and push it a stop or 2. With wet photography you would do this by burning it in (by covering the ground from the light off the enlarger with your hands, or dodging it). This can be done more easily using the PC, by pushing it a stop or 2, then putting the original (ground) and burnt copy (of the sky) together.

    Dodging, burning, cropping etc is used to make an already great photo, better still, and is not used to rescue a poor photo (although the PC can do that now).

    Dont be afraid to use photo manipulation. Its not a dirty word or the sign of a poor photographer, as ALL the greats have been doing it for years.
    I guarentee that almost 100% of photos you see in magazines or posters will have had some work done to them.

    RAW can be fiddly, and not all programs allow it and can read its format, so be careful.
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2010
  7. sAAdC

    sAAdC Master Guru

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    ^^ Thanks for the detailed explanation. Well I only shot with slide film once and I got mixed results, some photos were really good whereas others were really CRAP! That reminds me that I have to digitize those slides.....dont wanna lose good photos :).

    You look and sound like a really experienced photographer, even more than my uncle who started photography back in 1985!!!! His 1st camera was an Olympus OM-2, which then became my 1st camera as well, but sadly the the shutter speed dial got spoilt :(.

    Any chance that your photo's are on flickr or any other photo hosting website, Because i would really like to see them.

    Anyway back on topic. Well even if I do edit my photo's I use the auto functions in Adobe photoshop. Most of the time I make frames and copyrights for my images and thats about it!

    If you have the time maybe you could go through my uncle's gallery??? His photo's aren't JAW DROPPING but their quite good. Here's the link:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/mac-kenya/

    Cheers :).
     
  8. JxL

    JxL Ancient Guru

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    As far as technical quality goes, your pictures are really good, and they are suitable for entering competition.

    Since you have received a lot of feedback to the pictures already, some advice that I could give is thinking outside of standard "wildlife photography" - shots of exotic animals doing things. There are millions if not billions of pictures, and capturing something interesting and unique in this area is incredibly difficult.

    You should do some research in the term "wildlife", or "nature", and find current issues that surround it. You will find that it could be considered that there is no such thing as wildlife anymore, most of what was considered as "nature" is now managed, constructed, or somehow touched by mankind (have a read on Silent Spring). Ive done a 12,000 word dissertation on the topic of Nature, and still felt I needed triple the amount to have a quality discussion.

    Not long ago I looked at an award winning project on urban foxes, somewhere in eastern europe where they have became a "problem" in some people's perspective. I can't remember who it was by, but it was something different from what you usually see, and thats what it makes it unique in some way and worthy of an award.

    Hope this helps!
     
  9. sAAdC

    sAAdC Master Guru

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    Thanks for the info. Well I agree 100% with what you said; try something different, think outside the box and maybe break a few rules (like the rule of thirds).

    Well the thing is that I've already visualized what type of shots I want in different situations but the hard part, out here in the wild is actually being able to witness these "phenomenons"

    Why??? Becasue wildlife is unpredictable as anything can happen at any time.So my best bet would be, to be ready for anything....

    Also worth noticing is that all the world renowned pro's like Jonathan Scott or Andy Rouse actually spend half of their lives trying to study the animal's behavior so that they can be at the right place at the right time to get that ultimate shot!!! The thing is i'm 17, last year of high school and so there's practically NO time for me to spend large amounts of time out in the wild, even though i would like to!!! So all in all i have to make to with what I have :)!

    Cheers
     
  10. Thug

    Thug Ancient Guru

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    I took a look through your uncles website, and most are beautifully shot.

    I do have a flickr account, but not keen on the photos on it.
    I also have a website that is under contruction (i really must get it done).

    I have changing tastes in photography and to be quite honest have not done a great deal for the past year or so apart from snaps of the dog.
    I did try my hand at model portfolios and various things as my mood or interest takes me.
    I have a few on the 'i am proud of this photo...' thread, but here are a few that i can lay my hands on...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I won a portrait competition with this one...
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    To be honest, there are plenty of decent photographers on here who will give some good advice. it may be different or conflicting to mine, but still good, as everyone has their own likes/dislikes.
     

  11. sAAdC

    sAAdC Master Guru

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    Thanks for checking out his website. I'll certainly pass on your comment to him :).

    Well honestly speaking I don't know much about portrait/people photography but I can certainly say that these are excellent images!!!!!!! Each one of them has been perfectly lit and unique in their own sense, i.e. focus of attention. I really like your dog photo and the last one as it is "one of a kind"!!! Well done :thumbup:
     
  12. JxL

    JxL Ancient Guru

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    You might have misunderstood me - taking a different perspective and subject (yet maintaining the environmental / wildlife category), you would actually spend LESS time in the wild, as instead of waiting for animals to do something you could undertake a different kind of project..

    Another person that comes to mind is Pieter Hugo (he has an awful website, but is a world famous photographer, selling amazing quality prints worth thousands in Paris Photo Exhibition I went to in 2009).

    [​IMG]

    The project looks at a group of Nigerians who have domesticated Hyenas, usually they are bank robbers, debt collectors, drug dealers, and use the animals to threaten their victims. This is about "hybridization of the urban and wild", and personally I see this as much more interesting new phenomenon, than more traditional wildlife photographs.

    Now this might fall more under "portrait" category, but its just an example for finding more of a "niche" and focusing on how to photograph the subject. While a thing like Nigerian Hyena men obviously won't exist where you are (assuming the US?), but finding something even more local could be worthwhile, think people that look after certain wildlife, or on the contrary.

    I guess if you have your mind set on specific photos this won't make a difference to you, maybe just have it in mind on your travels, and you could develop a very interesting and worthwhile project.

    Good luck
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2010
  13. sAAdC

    sAAdC Master Guru

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    ^^ Hmm. Thats an interesting take on wildlife photography!!!

    Well I live in Kenya and although domestication of wild animals is rare there is alot of human-wildlife conflicts, throughout the country. Most of the time its between farmers and elephants, who invade farms and reap the crops!!! Poaching takes place but is heavily muted because the poachers are so hard to find, and the animals that the poachers kill are normally small antelopes for ones own consumption.

    Thanks for the idea. I Will look into it.
     
  14. bballfreak6

    bballfreak6 Ancient Guru

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    hi sAAdC, it's really nice to see you taking such good photos at your age, i assume you started when you were quite young

    i only started photography end of last year, so still trying to find my feet myself, but agree with others about raw, i was like you when i started and didn't believe in post production and think i should learn to get things right first time, but now i shoot raw and use adobe lightroom (yet to learn photoshop :p) because whilst i am confident in getting the right exposure and decent composition (always work in progress and things to explore) etc i found that there are just some things post production can really add to the photo...namely that 'pop'

    good luck with your competition!
     
  15. sAAdC

    sAAdC Master Guru

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    Hey guys,

    Sorry for not replying earlier but plans to visit the nearby national park the following weekend got canceled.

    I also visited Tsavo West N.P. over christmas and although I saw 3 leopards and a pack of 6 lionesses the photographic opportunity wasn't there! The trip produced only one "usable" image which you guys can check out on my new flickr account, here's the link:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/saad15/

    On a side note the BBC wildlife photographer of the year competition opens tomorrow and closes sometime in march and I've also decided to enter this other competition that look quite promising:

    http://www.naturesbestphotography.com/index.php

    BUT the good news is that i will definatley be going for a 10 day safari to Tanzania in 2 week time and I am sure that this trip will produce some good images.

    Stay tuned for more news :).
     

  16. sAAdC

    sAAdC Master Guru

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    Hi guys :),

    Well I just want to thank everyone who helped me in this thread, especially PCthug because I just got an E-mail the other day telling me that I am through to the semi-final round of this competition:

    http://www.naturesbestphotography.com/competition_overview.php

    (the 1st one), and that the following image was selected to go through:

    http://img688.imageshack.us/img688/6655/mg1640youngmalelionemai.jpg

    So thanks alot for that guys :thumbup:

    Ok, now I just need some help in sending them the original photo. They want the image to be:

    - A hi-res TIFF file
    - 300 DPI
    - Max height of 4800 pixels

    The problem is that my photo is a Jpeg and I have NO IDEA on how to convert it to a TIFF. Directions on how to resize the height to 4800 pixels and to make sure that the image is 300 DPI will also be very welcome!
     

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