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Old 2008-05-04, 00:12   Link #21
Ledgem
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Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Northeast USA
Age: 28
Anguish of Dearth: Aquarium Photography

For the majority of these photos, the only Photoshopping that I do is to add my alias and resize the images down to 1600x1200. HDR images are a composite of multiple images (usually three) that are combined in Photoshop. Photoshop has an automated HDR function, but if you want to do it manually it involves adjustment of levels and such.

///

Photos from this next set were all taken at the Aquarium of Pacific, located in Long Beach, California. The aquarium presented a multitude of challenges.

Spoiler for Challenges encountered:

Due to the challenges I faced I was unable to round off a lot of the shots that I wanted, and I came away with very few that I was happy with. In hindsight, there are very few things one can do to get better pictures: 1) Become better about manually adjusting the white balance; 2) visit during a time when there will be very few visitors; 3) use a faster lens (pre-requisite: get a higher paying job). Many of these images can probably be Photoshopped to look very presentable, but I'll be presenting them in their raw form. Enjoy.


Shrimp City

Enough shrimp came out clearly enough in this one to make the blurring of the moving ones look artistic. The blue and green lighting for the tank plays out pleasantly on the sand. Unfortunately, you can see the faint reflection of my hands on the plexiglass, as well as the reflection of some lights. Photoshop was probably created for pictures like these.



Underwater Jungle

The colors worked out nicely enough on this one, and the overall positioning nicely shows everything that was there. Unfortunately, closer examination reveals that the plexiglass meddled with this one.



Orange Catfood

Here's a close-up of the orange fish in the previous picture. I'm not happy with it, but the blurred fins combined with the relatively sharp head and body make for a pleasant enough appearence.



Ocean Meteor

This was an extremely dark area, but some red lights in the tank made the jellyfish look really neat. This is the best of the bunch - most of the other jellyfish were tangled up with each other, which looked more painful than interesting.



Big Eyes

Finally, a fish that came out clearly. What I like most about this picture is near the top. Are those dozens of small fish, air bubbles, or muck? Can't remember, but I like to think they're small fish.



Can't Touch This

I'm posting this one to show just how horrible the plexiglass and water are. Here, a little boy wandered into the camera's sight. Notice how sharp he looks and how vibrant the colors are compared with what's beyond the plexiglass... sigh.



Archer Fish (maybe)

This one was passable. Blurring wasn't terrible. Plexiglass reflections are apparent upon closer inspection.



The Other World

Have any of you ever gone deep into a pool, and then looked up? The reflections and warped views that you see from beneath the water have always been interesting to me. In this tank the lighting was perfect for creating a mirror effect. No moving fish (or very slow-moving fish) meant no blurring, either. It feels like the colors are a bit washed-out compared with how the corals should look, but this matches how it looked in my mind.



Stripes and Polka-Dots

These are some of the fish from the previous tank. They were slow moving and, realizing that I might realistically exit the aquarium without a single sharp shot of a fish, I nabbed the shot. On a second glance, they have a very interesting coloration and pattern design (three in total along the body).



Sea Turtle

My girlfriend and I happened to be in the right place at the right time - the sea turtle swam up from the bottom of the tank, surfaced for air, and then came back down. Little children crowded the exhibit, but the turtle ended up swimming right by my girlfriend and me. Ledgem: 1, little kids: 0. (Plexiglass: 3, for contributing to distortion on the left side of the image.)



Painting Fish

These fish were all brilliant colors. I wanted to get a sharp image of them, but it was too dark to prevent blurring. In hindsight, I should have left the shutter open for longer so that massive blurring would have occurred. After all, the colors of the fish are the focus here, and even if they're a bit blurred the colors are still brilliant. Massive blurred colors would have been rather artistic, especially with that static background (keeping a static background would have been difficult, however, as I didn't come with a tripod).



Clownfish Circus

This shot came out well enough; the orange of the clownfish seems fine. It was a nice touch for the aquarium to combine clownfish (the orange ones) with "false clownfish" (the black ones).



The Leafy Sea Dragon

I saw sea horses and regular sea dragons and thought they were cool, but I spent most of my time trying to capture the leafy sea dragon. It looks just like seaweed, but it's incredibly beautiful. This exhibit was in a cylindrical tank, meaning that the plexiglass was rounded at all ends. In nearly all of my close-up shots, at least one part of the sea dragon is blurred. I'm not sure that this is my clearest shot, but it's one of the clearest.

Interestingly, someone took pictures of the exact same exhibit and submitted them to Olympus' User Photo Gallery (check the pictures from E-system cameras; it should be on the first section). She also remarked that getting shots through plexiglass is very difficult - I agree. I like the colors of her shot better, as it makes the sea dragon stand out more and appear more golden. I don't know if this is due to something that she did or if it's because the lighting of the exhibit was different at that time. It's also hard to gauge the clarity of her image as we can't see it at full resolution.



The Dark Sea Dragon

Not all of the leafy sea dragons were the same - some had slghtly different patterns, and some were slightly lighter or darker than the others. This one was the darkest of the bunch. Unfortunately it never presented itself in a good position for me, but I thought that it was neat enough to present it here.



Rainbow Air Head

Nope, not a fish. The aquarium had a lorikeet exhibit, the type where you can walk in and have the birds flying around you. I decided not to switch to a long-range lens (which would have resulted in better lorikeet shots), but it was refreshing to get decent shots with relative ease.



Surface Distortion

No blurring, and perfect colors - it's too bad that the angle couldn't have been better, and that the water wasn't a bit calmer.



Seal

The rays of light played out nicely and there was no major blurring, but the colors appeared washed out. The water was a bit murky, which probably contributed to this.



Sleepy Puffin

There were some droplets of water on the plexiglass (on the puffin's side), due to the fact that the puffins were splashing around and having a grand time. It's blurred enough that it doesn't ruin the picture, but it's not optimal.



Drifter

Interesting fish; either the water or the plexiglass was a bit dirty in this one. This was in a light room and the fish were moving slowly enough to capture nicely, though.

(No EXIF information for these pictures yet; I may come back to add it in later)

////////////////

You may be thinking to yourself, "that's nice and all, but what about real underwater photography?" It's quite possible, but insanely expensive to equip your camera for underwater environments. You'll need to buy an underwater housing for your camera - these are tailored for your specific model, and I believe that the one for my camera was around $1200 (yikes, that's almost double what I paid for the camera + lenses kit itself!). Then, you'll need an underwater housing for the lens you'll be using. I believe that the lens housing is specific to one lens, too, which means that you'll need to choose which lens you want to use carefully (not that you can change lenses under water, of course).

I don't dive, and I don't snorkel enough to warrant buying the housing enclosure for my camera. However, if you want a more affordable option, look into Olympus' SW line of cameras. They're point-and-shoot models, but I believe that the latest ones are 10 megapixels and support 10x optical zoom. They can be taken down to a depth of 10 feet, I believe. When I replace my D-435 it'll be with a SW. Perhaps some day I'll get to post some "real" underwater photos...

As always, feedback appreciated. Thanks for looking!
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Old 2008-05-04, 03:17   Link #22
escimo
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^Water interface whether it's with glass or without is always a bitch. Don't know if you used a polarizing filter, if not I really recommend buying one. A good one will set you back about 50 bucks but it's well worth it. Helps a lot with the reflections. In a difficult lighting conditions it's a bit of a double edged sword though because it drops an aperture or two basically acting as a gray filter as well. Though it exaggerates the contrast a bit so it may be helpful at times as well. Dirty glass is something you can do very little about and in aquariums it's a constant problem due to alga alone. So very nice considering the environmental aspects. I tried photographing in an aquarium once and got frustrated in something like 3 seconds.

Overall I can't believe that I didn't find this thread sooner. I really like some of your pictures. White balance maybe needs a bit work but it's actually not a huge issue IMO. I like playing around with it and almost never use completely neutral white balance. If you have time and constant lighting conditions (so you can take several pictures) an easy way to get a neutral white balance is with grey card. I think you can still find them in photography stores though they see nowadays less and less of use. Just take one picture with the graycard as close to the subject as possible and with similar lighting. Photoshop has automatic color level adjustment for graycard and you can easily save it as an action and then apply to the actual picture. You'll naturally need to use manual white balance, aperture and shutter speed. Otherwise you'll get quite random results.

Anyway greetings to a fellow photographer.

Seems I can't give you cookies yet but I'll save them for later.
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Old 2008-05-25, 02:50   Link #23
Ledgem
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Random Backlogged Shots

I'm in the process of moving back to New York so I haven't had much time to sort through my newer images and process them for upload here, but I do have quite a few to share... including some more flower shots!

...? Are flower shots boring? Ah well... some new equipment is waiting for me back in New York: my 70-300mm telephoto lens (which should make for some nice wildlife photography), and a 50mm macro lens (which I intend to use for insects and... more flowers). Variety is nice, right? I'll also be upgrading camera bodies. I've heard that the new system can do 30 minute exposure times, so if you liked my star trails shot, be ready for even better ones!

Many of these images are older and rather random, but I'd processed them about a month ago anyway and might as well share. As an aside, I'm still not posting the image EXIF data (the data containing camera settings) but I've found out that if you do a "Save as..." in Photoshop, instead of "Save for web & devices" then the EXIF data is preserved in the image itself. I'll attempt to process my images using "Save as" from now on.

//////////


Bird's Eye View
This is a novelty shot, rather than something high quality. This was taken from an airplane window while in flight, somewhere along the East Coast this past winter. Unsure of the altitude. Taken with the 40-150mm lens at its full length (150mm).



The Pine Rat
Taken with the 150mm at its max length. The squirrel wasn't terribly far away. The slightly blurred background and foreground doesn't add to the picture, and could have theoretically been fixed by stopping down the aperture setting (although I've only learned that recently). This could actually be a very decent picture if I cropped it, a technique that many digital photographers seem to be employing. With 10 megapixels I have enough range to crop out some images and still resize it down such that you'd never have known it was cropped.



Fun with Mirrors
An experimental idea I had while bored in the passenger seat.



The Bridge Brigade
Taken from the same series as where "Sky Painting" was derived from. The nature is nice on its own and the cars as they are don't add much in my mind - keeping the shutter open for a few seconds would have resulted in light trails from the lights, which would have looked nicer. Alas, I didn't have a tripod to do that with.



Setting the Night Free
The Statue of Liberty, framed against a crazy sunset.



The Coward
White-tailed deer - common wildlife fare for me. Taken with the 40-150mm at 150mm. Expect better results with the 70-300mm.



Branch Web
Artistic, but a bit blurry. Expect better results with the macro lens.



The Zergling
The snow and grass combo reminds me of one of those Starcraft maps... shot was taken through a glass window, Mercury never knew what was taking place.


Thanks for viewing. And sorry escimo, but the B&W shot I mentioned is in a different set of images - I'll try to prioritize it for the next posting.
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Old 2008-05-25, 11:58   Link #24
kayos
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ledgem View Post

Branch Web
Lovely as always Ledgem, very purrrty.

Interesting angle with the side mirror, nice.

Seeing SoL makes me miss New York. *sigh*

What's wrong with your dog? It looks weird... can you even call that a dog, it doesn't have a tail.

Hope to see more. *thumb up*

I would like to see you take a shot of a bowl of food (up close) next time... please (kayos is hungry).
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Old 2008-05-25, 13:52   Link #25
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That Statue of Liberty picture is *gorgeous*. It's probably my favorite of that batch. Also, like kayos said, what's up with the dog? Just likes to tuck the tail in or is it just missing it completely?
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Old 2008-05-25, 14:31   Link #26
escimo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ledgem View Post

Setting the Night Free
The Statue of Liberty, framed against a crazy sunset.


Branch Web
Artistic, but a bit blurry. Expect better results with the macro lens.

Thanks for viewing. And sorry escimo, but the B&W shot I mentioned is in a different set of images - I'll try to prioritize it for the next posting.
Oh... These ones are very nice. I especially like the Statue of Liberty shot. Those clouds are amazing. Good catch.

And no rush with the B/W stuff.

I think I'll be posting some color photographs soon for a change of pace. Found some nice ones from my archives.
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Old 2008-05-25, 16:58   Link #27
Deathkillz
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kayos View Post
What's wrong with your dog? It looks weird... can you even call that a dog, it doesn't have a tail.
Ahahahaha~~

I've seen dogs with no tails...and they are still dogs.

Some breeds also have extremely short ones or some are cut off when they were young. Rottweilers are famous for this.

Anyway...great pictures Ledgem ^^

It's great to see your artistic talent
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Old 2008-05-25, 17:27   Link #28
Daniel E.
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With the exception of The Nexus, you seem to avoid people in your photographs.

Is there any reason in particular for this?
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Old 2008-05-25, 17:49   Link #29
Ledgem
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Mercury (my dog) is a Pembroke Welsh corgi - apparently it's considered part of the style of the breed to have the tails cut short when they're puppies. Supposedly part of the reason was so that if these dogs were used in hunting, the tail wouldn't bash against foliage and generate more noise. Not sure how true that is, given that these types of dogs were primarily used as sheep-herding dogs (or so I heard). In Mercury's case I think they cut a bit too close, as he doesn't even have a stub!

As for avoiding people in pictures, there are three reasons. The first is that I'm a bit shy, and I'm always terrified that I'll make people uncomfortable by including them in a picture, or that they may try to bring some sort of legal action against me for taking a picture without their consent (I believe there are laws about that, but I'm not sure how strict they are). The second is that I'm not sure how to work with people in terms of angle, positioning, and timing. Partly as a result I prefer to avoid having people in the pictures as they might otherwise detract from the picture. The final reason is that, partly due to not being used to having people as subjects, my "photography eye" generally notices anything but people.

I do actually have a number of shots of my girlfriend and friends that could be considered artistic, but I'm not comfortable posting them here I suppose.
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Old 2008-06-13, 19:18   Link #30
Ledgem
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Life in the Inanimate: Sculpture Photography

It's been a while since I updated with more pictures. I have quite a backlog to process and post, actually, but I've been sharing pictures individually, in the photography social group, and on Facebook (and now a friend is pushing me to get a Flickr account). This thread takes the most effort to update, so it's been a bit neglected.

New! I've changed the way that I'm processing my images. In order to see the EXIF data (aperture value, focal length, white balance, camera and lens used, etc.) you can now view the image properties, and that data should be there for you. This can be done either through your web browser (right click > image properties, in most browsers) or by downloading the picture and examining its properties on your system.

New Gear! I've since returned home to New York and have three new pieces of equipment to add to my photography back: the Zuiko Digital 50mm Macro lens, the EX-25 extension tube, and the Zuiko Digital 70-300mm lens. The 70-300 will be replacing my 40-150mm as the telephoto lens of choice and will allow me to get much better wildlife shots. I'll explain more about each piece of equipment when I get around to posting shots taken with them.
-------------------------------------------------------------
-------------------------------------------------------------
Today's set of images come from The Getty, an art museum located in Los Angeles. Museums in general tend to be difficult enviromments due to erratic light colors and dark areas. The Getty was a bit different. Being in Southern California, there were many windows in most of the exhibit halls. The building was also made out of a rather interesting type of stone. Those two factors combined created an issue with the white balance of many of the pictures. There were a number of dark areas, as well...

An art museum is generally a boring place for a photographer. Taking pictures of paintings seems like a bit of a weird thing to do, and while there is a certain skill involved in it there isn't much for a photographer to get creative with. Sculptures, on the other hand, are an entirely different story. The angle and position of the picture can drastically alter one's perception of the sculpture, and in some cases they can make the sculpture come alive. A failed picture would result in the sculpture appearing about as appealing as a lump of curved stone.

Even though some of these are a bit blurry due to lighting issues and a lack of a tripod, I'm submitting them for scrutiny. Enjoy!


The Gentle Hand
This statue was located outside, just before the museum entrance.



Song of Light and Stone
The pattern of light coming in from ceiling windows against the stone walls at the museum's entrance.



"Venus with Dolphin" (dolphin not included)
The lighting in this area was very good, but the colors were off. In a series of about 10 pictures I manually adjusted the white balance until the colors on the screen matched with the color of the stone in front of me. Partially out of laziness I think I used this white balance setting for the vast majority of other sculptures, even though the lighting in the rooms may have slightly varied in color.



"The Sphinx"


The Sphinx - Alive
The first image of the Sphinx captured the statue in its entirety rather well. The second image was intended to make it appear a bit more dramatic.



Dog (from "Bear and Dog"[/b]
While this is a poor capture of the sculpture itself, the angle and depth of field give it more of a living feel.



Neptune
While blurry, I liked my concept with this image. Neptune presents us with a shell.



"The Grotesques"
This was a close-up part of a decorative plate. It was one of a few attemps at capturing a two-dimensional artwork and presenting it in a nice fashion. Any thoughts on it? I likely won't be doing much of that in the future.



Museum in Monotone
I admit it - I don't know much about art history, so I breeze by paintings because I can't appreciate them much and I can't get any creative pictures with them. I was partially inspired by escimo's photography, which is often done in monotone ("black and white"), and took this picture for artistic effect. I have a long way to go before I can match escimo in monotone photographs.



Hello Down There



"Boy with a Dragon"


"Boy with a Dragon" - Another Angle
I wasn't sure what the overall intent of this sculpture was supposed to be. Was the boy playing with a dragon? Fighting with a dragon? It looks to me like the boy is breaking the dragon's jaw. I attempted the various angles to see if it evoked different feelings about what was going on.



"Pluto"



It's What's for Dinner
I physically position myself so that the shot could appear close behind the creature, and then utilized the depth of field to make the scene appear a bit more alive.



Come Along
This was a rather busy sculpture, but again by utilizing depth of field I was able to draw attention to one area and keep the scene looking alive (or so I think).



Water Sports
Here's some human photography, which is rare for me. I'd originally wanted to capture the stark contrast in colors between the water in both fountains, and I did so in other pictures. However, I spied this young boy and his father between the two, as the boy was happily flicking his hands in and out of the dark water. I've seen better photography of people, but this was a start.



Arcing Fountain
The only challenge in this one was gathering up the courage to hunch down in front of the fountain and get some pictures from this angle.



The Origin
This was a neat little fountain. Located just outside of the museum's main entrance, I'd imagine that many people notice this odd trough of running water and follow it to its end, where it seems to simply drip down a hole. But there's a fun little surprise to be realized...
Spoiler for Only read if you don't care or won't go to the museum:

-------------------------------------------------------------
As always, comments and criticism appreciated.
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Old 2008-06-13, 20:17   Link #31
konstargirl
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The fish photography is beautiful. Say did you edited them or something, or you took those and then you edited them?

I think I ask this question but never got an answer. ><
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Old 2008-06-13, 20:34   Link #32
escimo
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I'll see if I can come up with anything intelligent to say.

The Gentle Hand
It has a funny feel to it. Almost seems like the statue is trying to avoid being photographed. Those damn paparazzi...

Song of Light and Stone
The stone has very nice texture. I would increase the contrast just a bit. I think it would make it more interesting.

"Venus with Dolphin"
A bit center weighted but the lighting is very good. Seems that the conditions weren't the easiest possible.

"The Sphinx"
Lighting is very good. Nice dynamic range and balanced shade-scale. Quite a lot of noise though. You could try to reduce it a bit.

The Sphinx - Alive
Lighting is once again very successful. Blue highlights add a nice touch. Maybe a bit awkward composition though.

Dog
Nice use of depth of field. If you feel that it doesn't jeopardize the integrity of the photo you could try to clean up the background completely. Remove the other artworks and people entirely. Though it looks almost as the dog is looking at the guy in the background which is a nice effect as well.

Neptune
Concept is nice. Such a shame it's a bit jolted.

"The Grotesques"
Well... Not really nice to be honest. I kind of missed the point.

Museum in Monotone
Not bad. Though a neutral shade-scheme is not really my preference when shooting B/W. I tend to go quite low-key and exaggerate the contrast quite a bit. Play around with levels a bit and see how it comes out. By the way, did you desaturate it in photoshop or did you use a camera preset?
And thanks for the complements.

Hello Down There
Horrible lighting conditions. But you pulled it through. Managed to capture even the facial features really nicely despite of the strong counterlight.

"Boy with a Dragon"
Composition is slightly awkward. A subjects line of sight originating from the center and being directed to lower left. It would have worked a bit better if you would have placed the head of the statue a bit more to the right and ,picture being taken from a low angle, a bit higher in the frame.

"Boy with a Dragon" - Another Angle
Out of statue photos, I think this is technically the best in the bunch. Good job.

"Pluto"
Goon interesting composition. It's a bit left-weighted but the subject doesn't contradict with the composition so it's no problem. Maybe just a bit underexposed and just a bit jolted.

It's What's for Dinner
This would have made a nice picture pair if you would have taken another one with the woman as a focuspoint. None the less. Nice use of depth of field and interesting perspective.

Come Along
A bit underexposed and I would have taken a half a step to the left while taking it but, OK.

Water Sports
I like this one. Would crop it a bit. Cut about an eighth of the picture's height from the bottom and correct the crookedness of the horizon. But it has a nice down to earth, enjoying little things feel to it. A good relevant moment shot.

Arcing Fountain
A little bit too much going on, but I like these short focal length architectural shots.

The Origin
This is really good. I like the bipolarity of the shot. Vegetation on the right as a soft element and quite rugged architecture on the left as a hard element, being divided by the stream of water. It has quite a bit of urban serenity-ish feel to it.

Overall really nice batch.

Edit: And why the *beep* I can't give you cookies. Guess I need to spread some love around first...
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Old 2008-06-13, 22:20   Link #33
Daniel E.
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Sorry for the late reply to this, I simply forgot to check some threads this last couple of days

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ledgem View Post
As for avoiding people in pictures, there are three reasons. The first is that I'm a bit shy, and I'm always terrified that I'll make people uncomfortable by including them in a picture, or that they may try to bring some sort of legal action against me for taking a picture without their consent (I believe there are laws about that, but I'm not sure how strict they are). The second is that I'm not sure how to work with people in terms of angle, positioning, and timing. Partly as a result I prefer to avoid having people in the pictures as they might otherwise detract from the picture. The final reason is that, partly due to not being used to having people as subjects, my "photography eye" generally notices anything but people.
I have to admit that the legal aspect of posting someone's photo on the internet never crossed my head.

And as for getting the right angle with people; I think I remember seeing a series of photos that focused on close-ups of faces (can't remember where, though). It was mostly old people from the country, but I though the photos had an interesting idea as a whole.

EDIT:

Oh yeah, all the pics were B & W too!
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Old 2008-06-14, 01:37   Link #34
Ledgem
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Quote:
Originally Posted by konstargirl View Post
The fish photography is beautiful. Say did you edited them or something, or you took those and then you edited them?

I think I ask this question but never got an answer. ><
Nope, all of the images here are untouched so far. In general I think most people would touch up their images. At the very least, many digital photographers crop out undesirable parts of the picture to give the image a more focused feel. When I found out just how often cropping occurs it was sort of like discovering that the tooth fairy isn't real I'd always thought that the cameras were good enough to let you get those types of shots, but for many cases I suppose it's not always possible. When I get around to posting some macro shots and telephoto shots I'll most likely be cropping a fair bit, too.

I will make note of it if I perform any post-processing to an image. Everything so far has been taken using the camera's internal processing (as well as JPEG compression; I generally don't take RAW (unprocessed) images). The only post-processing that I do is to resize the image and stamp my user alias onto the images.


Quote:
Originally Posted by escimo View Post
I'll see if I can come up with anything intelligent to say.

"The Grotesques"
Well... Not really nice to be honest. I kind of missed the point.

Museum in Monotone
Not bad. Though a neutral shade-scheme is not really my preference when shooting B/W. I tend to go quite low-key and exaggerate the contrast quite a bit. Play around with levels a bit and see how it comes out. By the way, did you desaturate it in photoshop or did you use a camera preset?
And thanks for the complements.
Thanks for the remarks. "The Grotesques" (the name of the art piece) didn't really have a point. It was a plate on a wall... not a whole lot to be done there I figured I'd try to focus in on a semi-interesting part of the artwork and see how it'd come out. Pretty bland, I didn't think it was so hot either.

And thanks for the comments on use of monotone. Now that you mention it, you're right - many of your images do play on contrast between very light and very dark areas. When I posted a month or two back about showing you a monotone picture this wasn't actually the one I had in mind. That'll be in the next batch, and is a bit more your style, I think.

As I mentioned just above to konstargirl I don't do post-processing; all of these were performed via the camera's settings. I think that when I uprade camera bodies I'll start using the RAW+JPEG option, just so that I have the ability to work with things a bit more. At this point I'm reaching the level where I may want to begin post-processing and make prints of some shots. Of course the RAWs take up tons of disk space. I'm not so worried about my CF card, I'm more worried that I won't be good about deleting RAWs that I'm not interested in and that I'll use up all of my disk space

Quote:
Originally Posted by Daniel E. View Post
And as for getting the right angle with people; I think I remember seeing a series of photos that focused on close-ups of faces (can't remember where, though). It was mostly old people from the country, but I though the photos had an interesting idea as a whole.

EDIT:

Oh yeah, all the pics were B & W too!
At some point I'll experiment with it. Practice makes perfect, as they say. I'm sure that my girlfriend would be happy to model for me, but it's best to practice with a variety of people, too. I'm not sure who would be willing to...

Monotone with people photography makes things a lot easier, I think. You no longer have to worry about the lighting as much, or what color clothes the person was wearing, or if they have acne, and so on. All of those color issues can be fixed somewhat by manually post-processing the image, but monotone just makes it a lot simpler I'd hesitate to say that it's easier, though, because without color the focus of what you're capturing somewhat shifts.
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Old 2008-06-17, 21:50   Link #35
Ledgem
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Flower Photography 2: The Getty Gardens

This is my second set of images from my outing at The Getty, an art museum in Los Angeles, California. These were taken on the same day as the set of sculpture pictures that I previously posted. I think that my girlfriend experienced some major boredom during this part of our outing, but hopefully the images are good enough to make up for it! I feel that they're much improved over the first set of flower pictures that I posted a few months back. The equipment used was the same in both cases. As per the images above, EXIF data is contained within the images. Click the image to see the full-size image, and then right-click it to view the image properties. I highly recommend viewing this at their fullest resolution to better appreciate the flowers.



Grass
This was some reedy grass at the entrance to the gardens. It had interesting coloration and grew in clumps thick enough to fill the image frame. It's something you could get lost (in thought) in, so I thought it might make a nice desktop background.



Adrift
An example of strange things that can catch your eye when you have a camera in your hand. There was a small stream that flowed through the garden, and this leaf had gotten caught while flowing along it. Given that the focal point of the picture had more to do with the light playing on the water and its contrast against the solid leaf, I attempted to emulate escimo's monotone style and see how it came out. I'm actually not sure that I prefer the monotone version to the colored version (shown below in spoiler tags); feedback is much appreciated on this particular shot! Even if the color version is better, this might be my best monotone shot to date (which isn't saying much).
Spoiler for Adrift in Color:




Floral Burst
There were some interesting wire tree-like structures laced with these flowers along the tops near the front of the garden. The patches of sky visible through the flowers give a nice touch, although the sky on the left is overexposed. This might have been a good candidate for a HDR image. I didn't have a tripod, but even if I had I probably wouldn't have realized to do a HDR bracket at the time...



Flower Privates
This was stretching the limits of my 14-42mm lens' capabilities as a macro lens. Taking a shot at the inside of a flower that forms a tunnel-like structure with its petals is a usual thing to do for many macrophotographers, it seems, and I didn't want to be left out. I'm not posting this as an example of great photography, but to demonstrate the technical limitations of the 14-42mm lens. In the future, compare this with shots taken by my 50mm macro lens to see the difference.



The Stars and the Honeybee
Yet another attempt at macro photography with flowers and insects. This is about the closest you can get with the 14-42mm before it blurs. I could have cropped this image and it might have made a decent macro image, but it's nothing compared with a designated macro setup.



The Sun and the Honeybee



The Purple Jungle
Arbuably the angle and depth of field combination could have been better here, but I like this quite a bit. The blurred background (termed "bokeh" in the photography world - apparently it's derived from Japanese) came out nicely, with the red and blue dots of other flowers providing a pleasant upper region to the image.



The Climb
Throughout the garden there were a few arches with plants climbing along them. The plant here is a honeysuckle, which isn't the most exotic flower around. As a result it didn't get a picture dedicated to it alone.



Star Burst
These flowers were really neat and made for some great pictures. This picture is the desktop of one of my Windows virtual machines.



Purple Distinction
Bokeh!



Green Bursts
Not quite as exotic as those purple star-like cluster flowers, but fun to photograph.



Busy Honeybee
Very pleasing bokeh. The flower looks a bit aged...



Orange Power
The white balance in this picture may be off by a bit due to the overpowering orange.



The Deviants
There's something about blue flowers that I find to be very calming. For some reason the two types of flowers shown here remind me of comical villains (one fat and one thin). These were somewhat hanging down from arches near the end of the garden.

-----------------------------
The good news is that I don't have any more sets of flower pictures. I may have posted two sets of flower pictures, but I refuse to be defined as a flower photographer. I have one or two more sets of pictures to go through before I begin posting shots taken with the my new specialty lenses. Look forward to them!
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Old 2008-06-17, 22:05   Link #36
KholdStare
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I really like The Sun and the Honeybee. I personally don't like bees so I would like, avoid them.
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Old 2008-06-17, 23:37   Link #37
Daniel E.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ledgem
An example of strange things that can catch your eye when you have a camera in your hand. There was a small stream that flowed through the garden, and this leaf had gotten caught while flowing along it. Given that the focal point of the picture had more to do with the light playing on the water and its contrast against the solid leaf, I attempted to emulate escimo's monotone style and see how it came out. I'm actually not sure that I prefer the monotone version to the colored version (shown below in spoiler tags); feedback is much appreciated on this particular shot! Even if the color version is better, this might be my best monotone shot to date (which isn't saying much).
I think I also prefer the colored version in this particular case.

It's almost as if there was more water (Leaf harder to see, pic as a whole feels more empty) in the colorless one. >_<
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Old 2008-06-18, 05:05   Link #38
escimo
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Once again really nice batch. I'm not such a huge fan of flower photography but they do provide a nice playground for for example macro photography.

Quote:
Grass
This was some reedy grass at the entrance to the gardens. It had interesting coloration and grew in clumps thick enough to fill the image frame. It's something you could get lost (in thought) in, so I thought it might make a nice desktop background.
I really like this, though it could maybe use a bit more contrast.


Quote:
Adrift
An example of strange things that can catch your eye when you have a camera in your hand. There was a small stream that flowed through the garden, and this leaf had gotten caught while flowing along it. Given that the focal point of the picture had more to do with the light playing on the water and its contrast against the solid leaf, I attempted to emulate escimo's monotone style and see how it came out. I'm actually not sure that I prefer the monotone version to the colored version (shown below in spoiler tags); feedback is much appreciated on this particular shot! Even if the color version is better, this might be my best monotone shot to date (which isn't saying much).
I'm really not sure which one I prefer. The contrast in the B/W version is very nice but actually color adds something to the picture. Maybe the tone of the leaf and the water are a bit too close to each other. Do you mind if I play around in Photoshop a bit with this one?


Quote:
The Sun and the Honeybee
Very nice. Good colors.


Quote:
The Climb
Throughout the garden there were a few arches with plants climbing along them. The plant here is a honeysuckle, which isn't the most exotic flower around. As a result it didn't get a picture dedicated to it alone.
I like the composition of this. Lighting is also very nice.


Quote:
Purple Distinction
Bokeh!
Nice use of depth of field. Brings out the actual subject really nicely. The flowers are quite small so less blur in the background would have made the photo look messy. Very nice.
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Old 2008-06-18, 13:10   Link #39
Ledgem
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Originally Posted by escimo View Post
OI'm really not sure which one I prefer. The contrast in the B/W version is very nice but actually color adds something to the picture. Maybe the tone of the leaf and the water are a bit too close to each other. Do you mind if I play around in Photoshop a bit with this one?
Sure, go ahead. I'm going to begin taking my pictures in RAW+JPEG with the expectation that I'll handle much of the image processing, so I'd be interested to see how much of a difference manual processing can make as compared with the camera's processing. Thanks for the comments.
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Old 2008-06-18, 14:30   Link #40
escimo
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Originally Posted by Ledgem View Post
Sure, go ahead. I'm going to begin taking my pictures in RAW+JPEG with the expectation that I'll handle much of the image processing, so I'd be interested to see how much of a difference manual processing can make as compared with the camera's processing. Thanks for the comments.
Here's what I came up with. Best of both worlds.
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