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Old May 14, 2003, 3:09 PM   #1
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Default What am I doing wrong?

http://www.imagestation.com/album/?id=4290158841

What am I doing wrong? What makes these pictures look so good (besides being in motion)...




And mine look so amature (which, granted, I am)? If I do it in the shade (pictures 1-6) it doesn't look right—everything's really muted—but if it do it in sunlight (as in picture 7), it looks too "contrasty."

This is so frustrating! I know my camera (Sony Cybershot F707) is up to taking good pictures, but I can't seem to get them. I mean, these 7 pictures are the better of the 60 I took over the course of two days!

So what am I doing wrong? What should I do different? I'd do pictures of the car in motion except no one wants to help me with my obsession (cars) or playing with my camera...
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Old May 14, 2003, 3:52 PM   #2
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Only looked at the first pic, (didn't want to login). On my monitor, white was white and your car was slightly more than grey. It's not a grey car is it?

My guess from the first pic is you're under exposed. Look at some good pics in your editor turn on histogram and then compare with yours. Also have a real good look at the EXIF data on your shots and see what the cam is doing. Checkout what sort of metering options you're using. Try some 'bracketed' exposure shots and pic the best.

I just did an auto level tweak in ACDSee on your 26K web pic and it looked a million dollars! Try to improve the exposure and use your digital darkroom tools. Those pic links you put here just illustrate the expertise that has gone into post editing.
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Old May 14, 2003, 5:29 PM   #3
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Hi Robert,

Welcome to the forum

Your first pic is awesome!

This is why...

It "says" potential energy (vs. kinetic (motion) energy)...

Foglights? reflection picked up on the damp pavement.

Background in blur implies..."Nothing matters, except the car."

Kudos!

Put the second photo (car) on a mountain 2-lane, twisting road

Ooops...sorry...I just saw your photo in the link...hmmm...if you apply my comments
from the other two photos, you could make your white car shine!

Suggestion: Put it on the beach, near sunset...45 degree off perpendicular to the setting sun .
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Old May 14, 2003, 7:55 PM   #4
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I am a complete amature but try about two stops of exposure.
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Old May 15, 2003, 4:44 AM   #5
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I tried using my camera's exposure bracketing feature, but it really didn't do me much good. The "middle" shot really was the best—the under- and over-exposed shots were usually just that. Since i Just figured out how to read the meter in my camera for manual mode, that'll help...

... but the problem is, my colors all look so flat! Why is that? Why are colors in those two pro pics so vibrant and mine are so dull? Granted, yes, my car is white, but I'm still seeing the same dull, amature stuff I've always seen when I take pictures. What are the pros doing differently? Is it gear? I'd like to think not. Is it the conditions? Was it simply too late in the day for me to do this and a "perfect" picture simply wasn't available? As you can see from Picture 7, direct sunlight is my enemy, too, it seems.
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Old May 15, 2003, 4:47 AM   #6
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For those who don't want to login or register (it is free...):









A lot of those pictures look very soft (and slightly out of focus). I think it's just ImageStation's "thumbnail crops." Add "orig.jpg" to any of the pics to see the 1024x768 Photoshop crop.
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Old May 15, 2003, 5:17 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RobertMcDonald
For those who don't want to login or register (it is free...):

A lot of those pictures look very soft (and slightly out of focus). I think it's just ImageStation's "thumbnail crops." Add "orig.jpg" to any of the pics to see the 1024x768 Photoshop crop.
A lot of people don't like registering to a site just to look at someone's pictures...why give someone info just so they can send out spam mail (which most free services do). Use a site like Pbase (one of the best IMO as it allows the viewer to chose the resolution for viewing, although it does cost the poster $23 a year).


As for the pictures you have to assume that the pictures taken by the manufacturer (assuming that's who took them) used a camera that probably costed tens of thousands of dollars, and not a consumer camera. Also, they probably took many, many pictures using different *manual* settings (not using auto focus or auto exposure), and picked out the one that looked the best.

For one assignment I did I took 80 pictures of the subject using different settings (shutter speed, f-stop, ISO, etc.) and from different angles, and chose the one I liked the most.

And also don't forget the digital darkroom...most of your pictures can be improved by using a program like Photoshop (or cheaper equivalent) with boosting the sharpening (many digitals require some sharpening) and playing with the levels.
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Old May 15, 2003, 5:19 AM   #8
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This may help you shooting some better carpics:

1. Get someone to drive your car and cut some corners, while you have to shoot with the sun on the car and in your back/side. You may stand in the shadow, but not the car. Photo is all about light!
2. You have to come closer to your car - zoom or move.
3. You have to pan you camera while shooting at an low aperture - remember to push the button WHILE pano the digicam in the same direction. The shutter doesn't have to be that fast. The pan will freeze your car and give the background some directional blur.
4. home again - you have to put some saturation on your shots, lighten up shadows and crop them if needed.

Looking forward to see your efforts!
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Old May 15, 2003, 6:54 AM   #9
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...somtimes all you need is the right location...


http://brucepix2.homestead.com/files/toyota_ad.jpg








www.brucepix.com
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Old May 15, 2003, 8:28 AM   #10
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BTW, I agree with Mike_PEAT. I'm sure it's free, but at the same time I bet it also *costs* something. I also already have enough logins and passwords to remember. Why have another? I go to this forums for *fun*, on my own time; so I keep it as easy as possible.

On to your pictures. Something which struck me which others (I don't believe) mentioned. The professional ads seem to use the reflections to their advantage. In the second one, they are higher up looking down at the car, which increases the reflections on the hood (and roof, making its edge stand out.) I don't know if this is a common thing in car adds, but it caught my eye. Its already been pointed out that the wet road in the first on also has reflections on it.
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