Id appreciate your tips please, first attempts with my SLR :


ZRman

Link Posted 28/01/2008 - 18:40
Ok i have recently bought a Pentax K100D and i really want to take some amazing pictures of my car but for some reason i havent a clue where to start. Ive read the instructions and i dont know what settings i need etc.

But anyway i took some pictures today and these were some of my best and i just want some tips on what settings i should be using and really some constructive critisism please.

I have only messed around with one of the pictures on photoshop and thats the one of the green car.



















Opinions please

hefty1

Link Posted 28/01/2008 - 19:23
For a first effort I think they're excellent!

As for what settings, etc to use I'd recommend a trip to your local library to find a book on photography basics (don't worry about it being specific to any camera or even digital cameras - the basics haven't really changed that much in over 100 years). Learn how to use shutter speed and aperture and how they relate to one another and you'll be 90% there - the most important aspect of photography (IMO) is having an eye for a picture and that tends to be something you either have or you don't, I don't think it can be taught.

If I take one of your shots as an example (the silver SEAT), you've got the front of the car in focus but the girls' faces are out of focus (maybe that was deliberate but I doubt it was). If you'd used a smaller aperture (larger f. number) with a slower shutter speed you would have increased the depth of field (the amount of the picture that appears in focus). The downside is that the slower shutter speed would have meant a greater chance of "camera shake" (blurry picture) but this is one of many compromises that photographers have to consider with each photo. A way to mitigate it would be to increase the camera's ISO speed (the sensitivity of the sensor to light) although again there's no gain without pain as this would also increase the amount of noise in the picture.

If you can follow the above paragraph then that will tell you most of what you need to know to take photos. The camera will help you out in a lot of situations but there's no substitute for having a basic understanding of what the camera's doing and why it's doing it.
Joining the Q

Malo1961

Link Posted 28/01/2008 - 19:34
Hi ZRman,
First welcome to the forum. You centainly make some good decisions. First one buying a K100d, secondly comming over here on this forum.
I don't know if the k100d is your first camera ever, but if so the best piece of advice is the following. Just set your camera to auto everything and let the camera make all the decisions for you. Second; Buy yourself a good book of the basic skills of photography. Micheal Freeman has written a couple of excelent ones. After understanding and learning a bit more about the basics start exploring the camera . And above all, keep logging in onto this forum, to read, write, ask and participate in this great hobby called Photography What i see in your pictures you have an eye for detail, form etc.... But don't ask to comment on your first pics to deeply, if you know nothing about the working of the camera. Study the manual, and try,try,try. Better show one picture for a good comment, so you can really learn from the tips. One comment from me for the Big car Picture. Try a different viewpoint, a bit more to the side,(more dynamic) and if you include people, be sure their faces are sharp. Specially their eyes.
That's it for now,
Martin
Best regards,

Martin.


Curious about my photography?? Just Follow the Light.

ZRman

Link Posted 28/01/2008 - 19:36
Thankyou very much thats exactly what i wanted to hear

and you seem to know your stuff

What about my car the green one at the bottom?

I tried to make it so that the car was in focus and the rest wasnt but i have done this by accident with the picture of my dog which i really like

But your advice on getting a book from the library sounds like a good idea then just learn in the garden until i perfect it as to be honest i dont know how to change the aperture settings etc at the moment :S

hefty1

Link Posted 28/01/2008 - 21:55
When I was a little kid and my Dad was teaching me photography he gave me a good analogy which I'll pass on to you now;

In order to create a photograph you need to take your film (sensor in these digital days) and coat it with light (the word photograph literally means "light painting". First you need to know how much light you actually need - back in the day photographers could judge a scene by eye, these days we've become reliant upon our cameras to measure the amount of light they see and work out how much is needed for an "exposure" - that's because cameras are usually more reliable and better able to adjust to prevailing conditions than we are.

Now, let's substitute "light" for "water" and assume the camera tells us that a pint is required to satisfy its needs. If you take your pint glass to a tap then there are many ways you can fill it - at one extreme you can turn the tap a tiny amount and let the water drip into the glass until it's full; at the other extreme you can turn the tap on full and let the water gush in. Of course there are countless variations in-between.

The aperture of the lens is the tap in this analogy - the wider it is turned the faster the light pours onto the sensor so the less time it needs to be open for (the shutter speed is represented by the length of time you leave the tap on for). Be aware though that having a tap on full will result in the glass being filled in a messy fashion with lots of splashback, similarly a wide open aperture will result in a very narrow depth of field (amount of the scene in focus) and in most cases a rather "soft" picture.

Finding the right balance is what it's all about. Sometimes you will want a really fast shutter speed in order to freeze action or to prevent camera shake, sometimes you may want a very narrow depth of field for artistic purposes (like you aimed for in your MG picture). These require BIG apertures (lower f. numbers)

Conversely, there may be times when you want everything from very nearby to the far distance to all be in focus (warning: this means a slow shutter so use a tripod) or a slow shutter for artistic effect (think of those night pictures with the light trails of the traffic or those pictures of waterfalls where the water is blurred to look like a sheet of silk). These require SMALL apertures (higher f. numbers).

Usually though you'll want something in the middle but it'll vary from picture to picture and that's where your artistic interpretation and eye for a picture can never be second-guessed by your camera no matter how smart the maker claims it to be!

On the top dial of your camera you'll find your mode dial. I'd suggest setting it to "Av" where you set the aperture and the camera will set a shutter speed to match it and give you that "full pint of water". Take lots of pictures of the same scene at different apertures and compare them to see the difference it makes. Once you've got the hang of that then you'll find yourself naturally moving into other modes and experimenting with them to see what they do. You'll pick it up sooner than you think.
Joining the Q

iceblinker

Link Posted 28/01/2008 - 23:48
Looks like a really good start to me too.

Definitely get a book on general photography, and also buy at least one photography magazine a month that includes some articles for beginners (most of them do). The bite-sized chunks of info in the mags are easy to digest - and the repetition helps too (from mag to mag and month to month).

Experiement with Av mode in the meantime, and the Depth of Field Preview. Also be aware of the ISO setting (equivalent of film speed). Either just leave it on auto, or use higher settings when the light is low, and vice versa.
~Pete

amilner

Link Posted 29/01/2008 - 08:19
The dog has a nice expression but two things you could do to improve the picture - Firstly it has 'green eye' (the canine equivallent of red eye when the flash reflects off the back of the eye) - you can edit tha out in software (most have some sort of red eye removal tool which should also woor on green eye). Secondly, crop the picture so that you remove the arm on the right.

And keep shooting
Tony Milner
Super A, ME Super, MZ6, K5II, Ricoh GR & lenses from 8-500mm
www.amilner.org www.flickr.com/photos/tonymilner

ZRman

Link Posted 29/01/2008 - 13:44
Thanks for your comments

Im thinking of maybe joining a photography class at night school see if they can teach me abit and also find some like minded people to share photography with

amilner

Link Posted 29/01/2008 - 14:22
A good idea

Here is a rather rough and ready illustration of what you could do with your dog image

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Tony Milner
Super A, ME Super, MZ6, K5II, Ricoh GR & lenses from 8-500mm
www.amilner.org www.flickr.com/photos/tonymilner

beakynet

Link Posted 29/01/2008 - 16:02
ZRman wrote:


What about my car the green one at the bottom?

I tried to make it so that the car was in focus and the rest wasn't but i have done this by accident with the picture of my dog which i really like

What makes the background out of focus is a small aperture (say f2.8 or less) or a longer telephoto lens. I like your shot as all the car is in focus, so it seems that getting the background out of focus would not be possible. The low angle shot also works well for me.

You can make the background blurred in software such as Paint Shop Pro and Photo Shop, a bit of practice with levels and masking and you should be there.

I have done a very basic edit - less than 5mins to illustrate, looks a bit soft but experimentation would get a better result.



Bodies: K5IIs, K7, MZ5n, LX, MV
Lenses: DA*16-50, DA18-55WR, DA18-135, DAL35, M50 F2, A50 f1.4, FA50 f1.4, DA*50-135, DA55-300, Tamron 70-300, DFA 100 WR Macro, M135 f3.5, Sigma 120-400 APO DG HSM, Tokina 500 f8.0
Flash: Metz 58, Metz 48
Accessories: BG4, Pentax right angle finder, Pentax mirror adaptor lens, O-ME53 Viewfinder Loupe
Auto 110 System: Auto 110, Winder, 18mm, 24mm, 50mm, 70mm, 20-40mm, AF100P, 1.7x telecon

Daniel Bridge

Link Posted 29/01/2008 - 16:26
beakynet wrote:
What makes the background out of focus is a small aperture (say f2.8 or less)

Just to (hopefully) avoid confusion, that sentence should say large aperture. The smaller the number, for instance 2.8, the larger the aperture (the aperture being the hole the light passes through).

Dan
K-3, a macro lens and a DA*300mm...

beakynet

Link Posted 29/01/2008 - 16:32
Daniel Bridge wrote:
Just to (hopefully) avoid confusion, that sentence should say large aperture. The smaller the number, for instance 2.8, the larger the aperture (the aperture being the hole the light passes through).
Dan

Oops! Thanks Dan, that is exactly what I ment!
Bodies: K5IIs, K7, MZ5n, LX, MV
Lenses: DA*16-50, DA18-55WR, DA18-135, DAL35, M50 F2, A50 f1.4, FA50 f1.4, DA*50-135, DA55-300, Tamron 70-300, DFA 100 WR Macro, M135 f3.5, Sigma 120-400 APO DG HSM, Tokina 500 f8.0
Flash: Metz 58, Metz 48
Accessories: BG4, Pentax right angle finder, Pentax mirror adaptor lens, O-ME53 Viewfinder Loupe
Auto 110 System: Auto 110, Winder, 18mm, 24mm, 50mm, 70mm, 20-40mm, AF100P, 1.7x telecon

ZRman

Link Posted 02/02/2008 - 15:11
Thanks for the comments and help

How would i get the dogs eyes right in future? what program do you use?

Also thanks i will have to try that with the aperture as soon as i get my car back

Mannesty

Link Posted 02/02/2008 - 17:29
ZRman wrote:
Thanks for the comments and help

How would i get the dogs eyes right in future? what program do you use?

Also thanks i will have to try that with the aperture as soon as i get my car back

To avoid red eye in humans and/or green eye in dogs, yellow in cays, or other colours in animals eyes you need to either, a) not use flash at all, or b) use a flash mounted as far away from the lens as possible so as to increase the angle that the flash light travels from flash to subject and back to camera lens.

You will almost always suffer from this problem when using the cameras on board flash because it is physically too close to the lens.

Try a hot shoe mounted flash and bounce it from a white ceiling or wall if your subject needs extra light.

EDIT: Follow this link to Wikipedia for a full explanation.
Peter E Smith

My flickr Photostream
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