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Author Topic: Taking Photos.  (Read 19175 times)

George

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Taking Photos.
« on: August 19, 2007, 12:39:19 PM »
Hokay! Fuelled by a large bowl of Spaghetti Georgeionaise, and a bottle of Great Wall red, and nagged by the fact that I haven't posted anything substantial for a hell of a long time, I have started this thread. While I admit I'm not the greatest photographer on the planet, I do have a certain approach to my photography, and try to utilise this style whenever posting shots. Not every shot is great, or even good, but with digital cameras, this doesn't matter. Simply delete the shithouse ones. I never edit until I have them on the computer.
Lets look at "Faces". Since I posted the original thread, there have been a couple of other threads started along the same lines. Lotus' recent post got me started on this!! For faces, you gotta get in close..."in your face", so to speak! Editing is acceptable, sometimes even necessary.
As an example, have a look at this one, and the rationale behind the editing.

 I stalked this bloke for a few minutes until I had the shot. I waited until the snoopy bloke took his eyes off me, and onto the scroll. I used the zoom lens to cut tight, but still showing what had his attention. The background could have been more fuzzy, but I shoot on Auto, so I deal with what I get.

 This deserves better treatment. A great face, but why not get in close and grab that expression??  Or crop that dead area on the left! A second "head and shoulders" shot would have been wonderful!

What is behind his head?? A little lateral movement, left or right, would have removed that motorbike!

Another potentially great shot spoiled by not isolating the face.
Sometimes, you just gotta grab 'em when you can. Kids don't stand still for long. With this one I was lucky...and quick with the zoom. Technically, not brilliant, but it's a great shot.

Eagle scores with these two....


 I love the second one, as well as a couple of others in that set. Some others could handle a bit of judicious cropping.
This one from Martin is an example of where cropping is needed. The background is entirely superfluous, and tight cropping would improve the shot.

Taking liberties........



To do this sort of stuff seriously, you need a paintshop, or a photoshop program. It's worth it!
OK, enough to start with. Next time, maybe landscapes.  Tip of the day...Take the extra couple of seconds to look at the background!
« Last Edit: September 09, 2008, 07:55:39 AM by George »
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Lotus Eater

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Re: Taking Photos.
« Reply #1 on: August 19, 2007, 01:45:06 PM »
I have Photoshop, but I haven't played with it enough yet to do much, so tend not to use it. I use it to resize and not a lot more.

It's on my list of 'things to learn" - coming down a a bit from Chinese, Tan, what the hell an F-stop is etc.  I will get there one day, I promise!! axaxaxaxax

Eagle

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Re: Taking Photos.
« Reply #2 on: August 19, 2007, 06:18:47 PM »
I just got photoshop cs2 two days ago and have yet to try it out (I'm visiting at my USAnian son-in-law's - he's an IT guy - and got it gifted along with a small HP460 printer for taking travelling.  Thanks for the advice, George.
“… whatever reality may be, it will to some extent be shaped by the lens
through which we see it.” (James Hollis)

George

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Re: Taking Photos.
« Reply #3 on: August 19, 2007, 06:27:26 PM »
I have, or had, CS2 on my computer. I can't use it. It does weird things to my prints. I've been using PaintshopPro for years, and prefer it to Photoshop. I'm not all that clever when it comes to tricks and stuff like that, but for the simple photo adjustments, it's great.
The higher they fly, the fewer!    http://neilson.aminus3.com/

Eagle

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Re: Taking Photos.
« Reply #4 on: August 19, 2007, 06:29:13 PM »
For simple stuff I have bee using Photoshop Elements.  Even the basic Windows editor that comes with Vista is okay for very simple editing.
“… whatever reality may be, it will to some extent be shaped by the lens
through which we see it.” (James Hollis)

George

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Re: Taking Photos.
« Reply #5 on: August 21, 2007, 02:04:01 AM »
A little bit of playing around with the Contrast adjustments, makes a big difference.
This is only a copy of a copy of a copy, so results will be better when working with the original.
« Last Edit: September 09, 2008, 07:56:27 AM by George »
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Lotus Eater

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Re: Taking Photos.
« Reply #6 on: August 21, 2007, 03:23:42 AM »
This is where personal taste comes in.  Yours gives more definition of the dzong - I liked mine because of the moody feeling.  Sunset behind the dzong, a touch of mystery - atmosphere.

And sometimes it is the same with faces - stuff behind them can anchor them in a time and place.  Depends a lot of what you are looking for - portraiture or feeling.

But I do need to learn to play more with Photoshop.

limubai2000

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Re: Taking Photos.
« Reply #7 on: August 21, 2007, 08:40:23 AM »
My photography skills are limited to point and press button.  So I am in awe at this thread and discussion. I could only hope to have limited photography skills at some point in my lifetime. 

Great shots George.
The things we touch have no permanence.

George

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Re: Taking Photos.
« Reply #8 on: August 21, 2007, 09:17:06 AM »
Ta, Limubai. Remember, not all of them are mine. I'm simply illustrating what can be done to "improve"? ? some shots. The Dzong pic of Lotus' got twice the contrast treatment, to bring up the flags. It could have been just as good with less. Digital cameras hold a LOT of detail in the shadows.
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Lotus Eater

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Re: Taking Photos.
« Reply #9 on: August 21, 2007, 09:47:02 AM »


That one definitely loses interest when taken away from his sheep and the crowd at the back. Still a great face - but no context, no story.

This one I straightened - and again figure I lost a fair bit of 'feeling'.



« Last Edit: August 21, 2007, 10:20:52 AM by Lotus Eater »

George

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Re: Taking Photos.
« Reply #10 on: August 21, 2007, 09:57:23 AM »
True, Lotus, but the point of the original photo was the bloke with the sheep. Not a good choice to isolate the face, just for the sake of the face! Besides, he's a tad out of focus, close-up!!
The higher they fly, the fewer!    http://neilson.aminus3.com/

George

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Re: Taking Photos.
« Reply #11 on: August 21, 2007, 11:12:50 AM »
Don't do things to your photos just for the sake of doing them! By all means, try to improve the original, but if you don't feel good about it, discard it! Don't try to make a silk portrait out of a sow's ear! Decide what you are doing before you take the shot. Atmosphere and a story, or a portrait of an interesting face. Look at my originals, untouched except for re-sizing.......
This is the original shot.

This is the presented shot. Not a lot of difference.

This one....the original.

And the finished product. I could have probably cropped a bit closer on the right side to cut the bit of bike wheel.

This is the original.

And the finished product.

It's your original intent that is important. Take that shot, then work to improve it, or not. As you can see, I didn't do much to number 1, and only minor cropping to 2 and 3. Don't be afraid to use the camera sideways!!
« Last Edit: September 09, 2008, 08:01:35 AM by George »
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Lotus Eater

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Re: Taking Photos.
« Reply #12 on: August 21, 2007, 11:29:25 AM »
Most of my photos are taken on the fly - walking through places, from car/train/bus windows etc.  I rarely stalk people - just see them gesture to see if it's Ok to take it, then show them - so again I don't ask them to move or spend a lot of time setting up photos.

The ones that have the most set up time are about half the scenery ones.

George

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Re: Taking Photos.
« Reply #13 on: August 21, 2007, 12:20:44 PM »
This is where a sneaky disposition and a good zoom lens come in handy. If I see something, or someone, worth shooting, I will do it. I don't take a lot of stuff from bus/car windows, because I know I will usually be disappointed with the results.
Stalking is fun! Sometimes it doesn't work. TIFC, so you always have someone walk through the shot at the wrong moment!!
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Lotus Eater

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Re: Taking Photos.
« Reply #14 on: August 21, 2007, 02:39:33 PM »
I lust after a DLSR.  What is yours?  Mine camera is a canon Powershot Pro 1 with a 1,5 extension =to double my zoom - but it is still not as close as I would like.