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Old Sep 21, 2006, 8:29 AM   #1
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Hi All

Finallyventured out of the back yard and took the camera with to a paintball outing we recently had. Please let me know if they are utter crap or where to improve. I have not done any pp to them (ok, only one as it was too bright) except resize realy.

I know that composition is a big thing I still have to work on but to my defense, I'm still a very very raw rookie but comments on this will be great too.

A friend gave me a Hoya skylight filter recently. Just wonderig what difference will it make when shooting at this same location again (lots of shadows from bush) or would have made with these pics. What about open a field like a soccer pitch with the same filter - mostly close ups.

All was taking with my DL, the 18-55 kit lens and the smc P-FA J 75-300mm F4.5-5.8 AL (the only one I could afford for now and the DA 50-200 was not locally available :sad

Photos here: http://www.teamfear.co.za/photos/index.htm

Thanks All. Jacques


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Old Sep 21, 2006, 2:34 PM   #2
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hello heffalump,

i looked through your collection and they are very nice. i would offer the following suggestions. some of your pictures came out underexposed. take note of the pic where there are a bunch of guys standing in the shade of a tree behind them. its difficult to see them. there are a couple ways to improve this. one would be to adjust the exposure compensation to maybe +1.0. i always look at my pic after i shoot it too see if i need to adjust (to make it brighter or darker). another way would be to use fill flash. i don't have much experience with this technique yet, but i know others who use it well (even for outdoor pics).

the other suggestion i offer is to try to fill the frame. i know its often hard to do when you are zoomed out to the max and they are still far away. if you have photoshop, you can try to crop closer.

my last suggestion is to be aware of where your lens is focused on. there was one close up pic of a guy with a paintball mask over his head. its a very sharp picture but it seems like the lens was focused on the paintball mask and not his actual face. the paintball mask is a bit forward from his face so his face wasn't as sharp as it could have been. you can adjust for this by setting your autofocus point to center. then the lens won't try to guess where to focus on and will only focus on what is in the center of the viewfinder. this gives you much more precise control of where you want the focus to be.

that's all i got for ya now. hope this helps. i would encourage you to shoot more pictures and post them online for feedback just like this. it is what i do and i have found that feedback from other helps to improve my photography alot. also when someone suggests something, go back to your camera's manual and read up on it. the more options, techniques that you learn, the more versatile a photographer you will become. you are off to a very good start!

- royce10
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Old Sep 22, 2006, 3:52 AM   #3
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Tanks for the feedback. Reading the manual again at this moment I tried fill flash during this week and it indeed made a difference on some of the photos so thanks for confirming the one.

I was unsure about the exposure so thanks for pointing that out. It's a difficult one as I have to where a mask as well when on the field and it's a smoke lens, so everything is darker and your eye is 2 inches or so away from the view finder Will have to get a clear one so I can get the exposure correct.)

Tanks again for the feedback - only way to learn
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Old Sep 22, 2006, 5:02 AM   #4
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Framing and depth of field can make all the difference in a picture.

I undertand trying to shoot people intent on running about and hiding is a bit difficult, but in this shot he was allowing you to make the shot, then get in a "get the shot"

Frame it so the subject becomes the focus of the shot and in this case fill the frame, use a long focal length with your widest aperture and faster shutter which will give you a shallow depth of field.

By making a shallow DOF you make the background blurred, isolating the subject from the busy background.

I cropped the image down to what I consider would be the correct framing when taking the shot and applied a gaussian blur filter to the background to remove any distractions.

Sorry I couldn't make it any bigger, but it would pixelate.
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Old Sep 22, 2006, 7:22 AM   #5
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Thanks Crashman - will remember this. Going out there this weekend again hopefully so I can apply in pratice
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Old Sep 23, 2006, 12:27 AM   #6
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Heff-

Make it a habit to check on the photo just taken, by displaying it on the LCD screen. You can instantly tell if the photo is underexposed or overexposed. Personally I always set my camera to focus dead center. That way I can focus on the person or object I desire then re-frame the photo while holding the shutter release half way down.

If you have a back lighting situation, as you did in several of your photos, deploy the built-in flash and use a bit of fill flash.

I hope that is helpful.

MT/Sarah
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Old Sep 27, 2006, 5:27 AM   #7
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Thanks -Sarah

Will keep it in mind for next time. Was hpoing to put all the suggestions into practise this weekend but games were cancelled .

Thanks again for all the feedback.
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Old Sep 27, 2006, 11:47 AM   #8
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I didn't see any comments wrt to Skylight Filter question. Skylight 1a/1b is normally used with film where it doubles up as a lens protector & slightly warms the image.

I would advise that you use a UV Filter to protect the lens which also might help reduce haze.
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Old Sep 27, 2006, 2:57 PM   #9
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UV or skylight filters have some slight effect when shooting landscapes since they cut the amount of atmospheric haze caused by stray UV rays. Other than that they make decent lens protectors BUT... Beware, they can add flare since they are usually not multicoated to the level that lenses are.

I still used them on most of my lenses but recently I have been taking them off. Newer lenses have harder coatings that can withstand a little more abuse so the protection is not as vital as it once was. Also I have noticed some mild flare issues with the filters (just a general lowering of contrast compared with no filter).

Hope this helps.

Ira
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Old Sep 28, 2006, 3:56 AM   #10
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Thanks for the comments on the filter. With paintball flying around at 300 feet per second I want to add some 'buffer' incase there is a stray that hit the lens. Was concerned on how the skylight will affect the shots compared to the UV I already have and which one will be best to use.
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