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Old Jun 6, 2004, 8:56 PM   #1
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Bear with me... I just learned how to download images so I'm going to make up a little for lost time!


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Old Jun 7, 2004, 1:08 AM   #2
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Great first effort. The speherical water drops add a nice touch. Howeve, the lighting seems a bit off.

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Old Jun 7, 2004, 6:09 AM   #3
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Well, not really a first effort - I have a ton of others like this! But thanks.

I think I'm kind of limited to what I can do with this camera (a Nikon Coolpix 2100 - which is my first digital) but then I haven'tventuredtoo far outside of "auto mode". I love close ups and I think the few things I can adjust on this camera don't operate in"close up" mode :sad:

What kinds of external things could I try to punch these kinds of images up a notch? I'm kind of baffled with lighting. I see images that aretakenunder fullsun and the contrasts are sharp and the colors well saturated - and the same for images taken under cloud cover (like this one was). What controls this (and more importantly, can I control it with a limited camera)?


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Old Jun 7, 2004, 6:32 AM   #4
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You can't really control the sun, but there are some things you can do to make it help you. Try to figure out what it is that you like in other shots: soft, diffuse light (such as when the sky is covered) often gives softer result than a picture taken under direct sunlight, but can affect the colour.

To try to explain: light has a "temperature", usually expresseed in degrees kelvin. Perhaps the best analogy is to think of a rainbow: the warmer colours (the oranges and reds) are towards one end of the scale, and the cooler colours (blue, violet) at the other end of the scale. Just to confuse you, the warm colours actually have a lower colour temperature than the cool colours. Don't worry.

Under cloudy conditions, the light is actually "cooler" -- read bluer -- than under normal daylight. Under candle light, its the opposite. Bluer light, without any correction, will result in colours drifting towards the blue end of the spectrum.

The humaneye and brain usually adjust to make automatic compensation for thiese different types of light; the camera doesn't. So what you think was a brilliant coloured flower, or whatever, sometimes disappoints when you see the result on film, or in camera.

If you think this is the problem you're facing, you can do something about it. The camera has a "white balance" setting. What this does is to tell the camera what is, or should be, "normal" white. It will then adjust its sensitivity to colours accordingly. "All" you need is a piece of white paper or card. Point the camera at it, under the lighting you're using, and set the white balance.

There are other things you can do with that same piece of white card. You can use it to bounce light, or reflect light, into shaded parts of your picture. Take a look at your flower picture, and you'll see that the underside is a little too dark. You could use a white card (or gold, or silver, depending on the colour you want) to reflect some light underneath the petals to lighten that area up.

It doesn't cost much, but might be a bit fiddly to manipulate if you are also hand-holding the camera. That's where a tripod comes in handy. Or a friend!

On the other hand, if it's a really bright day and you don't want to have harsh, sharp shadows and moving the plant is not possible, you need something to diffuse the light. Net curtains are pretty good, or tracing paper. Again, you'll need to figure out how to hold everything, but hey, that's your half ofthe challenge.
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Old Jun 7, 2004, 8:11 AM   #5
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Okay John, I can seethat Ineed to carry you around with me at all times. You couldhelp me hold up all my props...

I would give you a run for your knowledge, that's for sure!

I love the white card idea. Simple,versatile and (I can imagine) effective (like holding a buttercup under the chin- a childhood thing I forget the meaning of now)... good stuff!I want the rain to stop now so I can practice!


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Old Jun 7, 2004, 8:57 AM   #6
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I'll talk to my wife about it!

If the buttercup reflects yellow, you're meant to like butter, or so I seem to remember.
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Old Jun 7, 2004, 9:03 AM   #7
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You can also cover one side of the card with crumbled aluminium foil. That gives a slightly different quality of light, and the crumpled foil means that it is not uni-directional.

I remember years back I used to have one of those safety blanket things. I can't remember why I ever bought it, but it seemed a good idea at the time. Anyway, I realised that it could also be pressed into photographic service: one side was silver, the other side was gold, and that made a nice reflector as well. So I cut it into little pieces. On reflection (pun intended) there are probably cheaper ways of doing it!
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