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General Chat Thread, DSLR Help in General; If you want to do something cool in Photoshop, because there's nothing to motivate you like getting cool results straight ...
  1. #76

    sonofsanta's Avatar
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    If you want to do something cool in Photoshop, because there's nothing to motivate you like getting cool results straight off the bat, follow a tutorial on tilt/shift fakery e.g. Tilt-Shift Photography Photoshop Tutorial | Miniature Faking | TiltShiftPhotography.net

    If you have the right photo to start with - urban shots taken from a height with tiny people in work best - you can get some cracking effects. You may not understand everything you're doing at first, but it will get you clicking around Photoshop and get you familiar with it. I only learnt it by skipping lectures for a week and faking my face into a Passion of the Christ photo, messing around is the only possible way to learn

    (or Adobe TV)

  2. #77

    mattx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RabbieBurns View Post
    @mattx they are amazing and what I am aspiring to. There is a definite different class between those and what I am taking, and I am trying to learn what that difference is.

    Take that single photo of the cockatoo above, with the yellow crown. The single attachment above is a direct Save-As jpg of the original photo from the camera. The one I posted with the bunch was after I adjusted the levels.

    Neither look like they belong in National Geographic.

    Matt's ones, and others from this thread who have posted theirs, look amazing and I want to learn what im missing
    Thanks for your kind words but I don't see them as that special. I must rack off at least around a few hundred shots on stuff before I'm happy with one of them. That is the great thing about digital now - just keep snapping. I was once told [ which I find very true ] stick to taking photos of something you like taking photos of. In my case it ended up being small stuff !! [ Yes very weird ] - I'm crap at taking photos of people, landscapes or anything like that. Give me something small [ and even better if an insect ] and I'm happy. So that is what I stick to now. I've been asked to take photos at weddings and other events but I refuse as those sorts of photos do not interest me. So I would first say, take a topic you really want to take photos of and stick with that - at least for a long time.
    Once you get to the know the power of Camera RAW [ it will not take long to get used to ] you will find that touching up your photos takes no time at all and you will be very impressed with the results. You will also develop a habit / technique - example I use vignetting a great deal, and also sharpness and the tool [ can't remember what its called ] that brings out selective colours.
    Plus it's all personal to how you want stuff to look. For example if I was touching up the photo of that bird in RAW I would [ like sonofsanta ] being out the sharpness in the feathers, I would bring out much more the yellow [ quite a lot ] and also I would bring reduce quite a bit the exposure around the non area of the bird so you when looking at the picture you eye is automatcally drawn into the main area of it. As I said its all personal but to me the area to the left of the bird is not needed so I would even consider cropping it.
    Anyway - I've ranted enough - let me know if you decide to stick to a certain style as that will certainly help. And if you do get into macro stuff don't do what I did once - get too close to a wasp, have it go down my t-shirt, shit yourself and in the process drop the camera [ with a lens on that is worth more than the camera !! ] - lucky for me the filter [ all £9.99 of it ] took the brunt !!

  3. #78

    RabbieBurns's Avatar
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    wow. If you compare the original, to my save as jpg, to your effort, the difference is amazing actually. If you could spare another 5 mins next time you do something like that and record the screen it would be easier to follow


    I have had a play with some of the layering effects within photoshop.. this is a bit of something i played i with. It makes the sea look nice but the sky gives it away:

    DSLR Help-_mg_5309.jpg DSLR Help-_mg_5309.jpg
    Last edited by RabbieBurns; 19th April 2013 at 04:49 PM.

  4. #79

    mattx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sonofsanta View Post
    Done a quick once over in Photoshop (more or less what I'd normally do to any photo, to be honest), but the problem with this particular photo is the background - there's a very harsh line that goes right through the parrot and it really distracts the eye. It's not always easy with animals, but if you could have stepped to the right one step so the photo was just against the greenery, it would have looked better. These are the kind of things you will learn to critique through the viewfinder, and correct before you click.
    Attachment 17892

    That said, what I've done (in order)
    - New Levels layer, set to 25, 1.00, 179 respectively for the arrows
    - New Curves layer in an S shape, chose Medium Contrast from the drop down, dragged the bottom left point up so it sat just below the diagonal line and moved the top right point up so it sat above the line - horizontally it was in the middle of squares 2 & 3, vertically it almost touched the top of square 3. This boosted the contrast at the top end, so we haven't lost detail in the dark areas but we've brightened the parrot
    - Copied the original photo layer (so we don't damage the original while we're still working), and on this duplicate, applied an Unsharp Mask @ 80%, 4px radius, 1 threshold (sharpened the feather detail on the parrot)
    - Applied a vignette, which I do in two stages - one layer is solid black with a circular gradient on the layer mask @ 20% opacity (in this case), the second layer is a copy of the just-sharpened photo using the same layer mask with the blending mode set to overlay (at 100% opacity).

    The vignetting step there might not make much sense now, but layers & layer masks are where the power of Photoshop really lies; Google up some tutorials. I can email the PSD at a lower resolution if it helps any, just PM your email (too big to attach here).

    (and whilst it might only have taken me five minutes in Photoshop now, it's taken me ten years to learn what to do in those five minutes)

    EDIT to add: the main difference between the edit you did and mine, then, is that there's more contrast in mine, and the vignette draws the eye in to the centre; @mattx has made use of the same trick, both with light and focus (and I'd be interested to know, @mattx - was the DOF all in camera, or have you applied some judicious Lens Blur in PS? I always find the latter far too fiddly to do with depth masks etc.)
    Yes most of my DOF is in the camera. Depending on what I have on for light [ macro ring ] etc will depend if I end up shooting at 8 or 2
    Plus it depends on the insect - if I just want a fly eye then I can get away with a smaller aperture. I don't really like going any higer than ISO 800 but will do if required. I would love to shoot everything at 8 or above but as we all know the light is the problem. Also I tend to have extension tubes on too which just like to make matters more complicated !!

    Example - 1/400ƒ/5.6 ISO 800 100 mm This needed a torch for more light to get a decent shot as I had a full set of extenion tubes on and was holding both the camera and a torch.....

    Last edited by mattx; 19th April 2013 at 04:41 PM.

  5. Thanks to mattx from:

    RabbieBurns (19th April 2013)

  6. #80

    RabbieBurns's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mattx View Post
    For example if I was touching up the photo of that bird in RAW I would [ like sonofsanta ] being out the sharpness in the feathers, I would bring out much more the yellow [ quite a lot ] and also I would bring reduce quite a bit the exposure around the non area of the bird so you when looking at the picture you eye is automatcally drawn into the main area of it. As I said its all personal but to me the area to the left of the bird is not needed so I would even consider cropping it.
    Anyway - I've ranted enough - let me know if you decide to stick to a certain style as that will certainly help. And if you do get into macro stuff don't do what I did once - get too close to a wasp, have it go down my t-shirt, shit yourself and in the process drop the camera [ with a lens on that is worth more than the camera !! ] - lucky for me the filter [ all £9.99 of it ] took the brunt !!
    For me my local canvas is going to be seaside shots and local wildlife shots and I see some local photographers with some amazing photos. I hadn't thought about taking a photo like the bird and treating different parts of it as different layers.

    I eventually want to get into underwater photography being a diver but will master it on land hopefully first.

  7. #81

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    You have the same camera as me (40d). Did not read all the posts so sorry if you have gone over this but the most important item is the lens, its more important than the main unit. Spend as much as you can on good glass with one exception the nifty 50 which is a cheap as chips lens with no zoom but takes great shots. Doing this will improve your shots from snap snap look a-likes to top quality images.

  8. #82

    JJonas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sonofsanta View Post
    but the problem with this particular photo is the background - there's a very harsh line that goes right through the parrot and it really distracts the eye.
    It was the first thing I noticed.
    Last edited by JJonas; 22nd April 2013 at 09:29 AM.

  9. #83

    sonofsanta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RabbieBurns View Post
    For me my local canvas is going to be seaside shots and local wildlife shots and I see some local photographers with some amazing photos. I hadn't thought about taking a photo like the bird and treating different parts of it as different layers.
    All of that is your setting, but it's not necessarily your subject. I grew up in a seaside town, and I could've taken landscape shots, documentary-style people shots or wildlife shots, but as it turned out, what I tend to enjoy most is textures and patterns. So rather than taking photos looking down the pier, I was aiming my camera down and taking photos of the boards (then converting to black & white in Photoshop after). I was taking close ups of the small details of the town.

    I don't think you can know ahead of time what your preferred subject will be. You can only find it out by taking lots of photos. In these early days, aim a camera at everything, no matter how half-baked an idea it is. Force yourself to crouch down low and get up high to get different angles (eye level photos are nearly always dull, because you normally see the world at eye level; you'd be amazed at the difference when you change the perspective). Look up and look down and look behind you, constantly. Get used to family days out involving your family having a day out whilst you wander around aimlessly 50 yards behind, repeating "I'll catch up in a moment!" every five minutes.

    And when you start getting photos that you like, step back for a moment and work out why. That's your starting point

  10. #84
    kennysarmy's Avatar
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    I recommend this book at any beginner to photography:
    Understanding Exposure: How to Shoot Great Photographs with a Film or Digital Camera (Updated Edition): Bryan Peterson: 9780817463007: Amazon.com: Books

    Shameless link to my flickr too:
    Flickr: kennysarmy's Photostream

    I used to have a 40d so if the OP has any specific questions drop me a PM.

    Cheers

  11. #85

    RabbieBurns's Avatar
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    I cant figure out how to change the aperture. I can change the exposure, the ISO, the white balance, but I cannot seem to find the setting for changing aperture.

  12. #86

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    @RabbieBurns - it's a Canon, yes? Set it to "Av" to control the aperture value, or if you're shooting completely manual then I'm pretty sure it's the cursor/wheel on the back of the camera that controls the aperture. Certainly does on my 60d.

  13. #87


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    With my EOS's in manual (say) the shutter is on the top wheel, while aperture is on the big wheel at the back (depending on how the beast is set-up).

  14. #88

    LosOjos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RabbieBurns View Post
    I cant figure out how to change the aperture. I can change the exposure, the ISO, the white balance, but I cannot seem to find the setting for changing aperture.
    It depends which shooting mode you're in which of the two dials (big dial near thumb, small dial near trigger finger) controls aperture or shutter, but you can only adjust the aperture if you're in Av, Program or Manual modes. Those two dials always control aperture and shutter (unless you've specifically chosen to change something like ISO via one of the other buttons)

  15. #89

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    I'm sure you'll probably have realized by now, but I found the most important addition to my DSLR bag when I started out was a spare battery and SD card. It's quite humiliating going on a nice walk thinking I've got half a battery left that will be plenty then at the end of the walk having your other half say 'that's an amazing view can I just take a photo of it' and discovering you've just used up the last of the battery/SD card.

  16. #90


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    Quote Originally Posted by DanielRF View Post
    I'm sure you'll probably have realized by now, but I found the most important addition to my DSLR bag when I started out was a spare battery and SD card. It's quite humiliating going on a nice walk thinking I've got half a battery left that will be plenty then at the end of the walk having your other half say 'that's an amazing view can I just take a photo of it' and discovering you've just used up the last of the battery/SD card.
    cards yes but ive only ever had the battery run out once and that was me forgetting to charge it after leaving it in the camera for months. I took over 1000 pics one day and it was still 1/2 if not over battery left



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