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Old Apr 19, 2010, 6:34 AM   #1
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Default 1st month k-x usage. please comment

Hi all..
I've been using the Pentax k-x for about a month now.. so I thought it would be a good time to ask for your comments/advice on some of the pictures I made so far.
Before this month I had no experience using a dSLR at all. But since I would really like to improve my skills and gain new insights in the world of photography I would kindly ask you to give some constructive criticism on the following pictures. (I did not do any PP, just reduced the image size. All are shot in jpeg)

Kindest regards,

Carlo

DA L 50-200 @ 200mm f8.0


smc 50mm 1.7 don't know the f


DA L 50-20 @ 150mm f5.6 (through glass)


smc 50mm 1.7 don't know the f


DA L 50-20 @ 200mm f11


DA L 50-20 @200mm f6.3 (just love the action.. not the picture itself per se)


First time using my smc 50mm 1.7 with a vivitar 2x teleconverter
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Old Apr 19, 2010, 7:02 AM   #2
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Well the most important thing is I can see you are really enjoying the camera and having fun ! There are some really nice shots in there ! The butterfly, lizard and bird being my favourites.

The first thing I would say re. the others would be composition, get people and door-frames out of the picture. It's difficult when you have a new camera (I know !) and are trying not to forget anything or to work out how to get the camera to do what you want .... and more so in public places with a lot of people around. If that's not possible then shortening the DOF (maybe to between F2.8 and F4) should help you blur them into oblivion ! If that still doesn't work then PP will help you save a shot that is otherwise a 'keeper' !

Conversely with the macro shot if you can stop to F11 / F16 or an even smaller aperture (I don't know what setting you had because the camera didn't record it due to the x2 converter) then you'll get more of the bee in focus although at the very smallest aperture the quality deteriorates due to diffraction. You will need very good light or a flash though to get the best out of the camera at those smaller apertures, and even more so when using the x2 because that alone will cost you 2 to 3 stops. Macro shots of insects often work best from the side or head on rather than looking down on them.

At zoos you have to work really hard to keep bars / cages / fencing / concrete / people / rubbish bins etc. etc. out of the frame for a more natural look. Choose your vantage point carefully with this in mind. With mesh if you press right up against it the camera will not focus on it and it will magically become invisible !

Have fun ... post more !
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Old Apr 19, 2010, 7:56 AM   #3
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Thank you for your advise.. and yes you're absolutely right about every point you made.
I wanted to make some better composition shots at the zoo.. but unfortunately I went there yesterday, the sun was shining so it was busy as hell. I took my new bought tripod with me but it was so crowded I did not have the space to use it. Next time I will go during a working day and hopefully I will be able to make some better shots.
The bee shot was taken without a tripod.. and I was so happy it sat down for about 10 seconds I took the shot as it was...I wanted to try out some different apertures but the bee left too soon.
The aperture settings is what I'm trying to get familiar with. I try to experiment as much as possible to see what works best in what kind of situation.
I will play around some more and post more pictures when I have some better photo-material.
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Old Apr 19, 2010, 8:19 AM   #4
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I think for a month in you are doing well so be encouraged. I agree that composition is one of the key elements to work on. Study the work of others, there are some wonderful photos at Steve's and also some pretty poor ones to be sure you study the better ones LOL.

I would focus on one area at a time, so that could be composition before getting into depth of field, or vise versa. If you try to do too much then you are likely to find you are not really sorting one area out and won't learn so fast.

Also use the photo critique section, just post one photo at a time showing the area you are trying to work on then members can help you improve in that aspect.
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Old Apr 19, 2010, 8:22 AM   #5
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Hi there! Say, if you don't mind, I took your lovely butterfly picture, which I thought was really cool... and I tried to do something different with the composition. Hope you don't mind... it just a different perspective... Actually, I should have the butterfly just tiniest bit higher... Anyway, I thought there was just a little space that could be cropped in a different way. Really nice photos, and glad to see you enjoying your Kx. Really hope to see more photos soon.



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Last edited by Eetu; Apr 19, 2010 at 8:25 AM. Reason: Photo needed attaching...
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Old Apr 19, 2010, 8:45 AM   #6
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I don't mind at all. I love to see how someone can show my pictures in a different way.
Yes Mark indeed I need to try to improve 1 point at a time. I decided to work on my aperture/dof skills first. The reasoning behind it is that once I get familiar with this.. I would be able to make better quality pictures. But when I would try to work on composition first I might make some pictures where the composition might be ok.. but the quality of the photo itself is crappy.. resulting in a bad picture. And besides that it will increase my overall photography knowledge.
Anyway, I'll probably catch myself cheating trying to improve everything at the same time.

Here are two pictures which I like wrt composition, although the reed is a bit distracting at the first photo. However I did not use the correct white balance therefore I don't like these pictures anymore.

(World heritage in the bokeh, the windmills of Kinderdijk, Holland)


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Old Apr 19, 2010, 8:51 AM   #7
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WB can be adjusted, so don't write it off. What software do you use?

If you post the photo I will gladly do a quick edit to show you what can be done.
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Old Apr 19, 2010, 9:09 AM   #8
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I have both Lightroom and CS4 as well as some noise reduction programs. I'm still no expert in this field.. however I know how to adjust a couple of things... but I wanted to show my photography skills first before showing any PP skills.
But I do know PP can produce miracles..
I attached both images (or did you want the full size images?)
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Old Apr 19, 2010, 9:10 AM   #9
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Oi, I really like the first picture!!! It puts a human enjoyment into the picture... My only advice would be to turn her head just little toward the right... rather than just looking at her back... this would give more of a visual effect of "seeing", of her looking at the windmills... Also, I would have the windmills to be more in focus... not completely in focus, but not completely blurry. Also, don't be put off from take several shots of same thing! Really, I do, I take form different angles... I crop in, I crop out, I mess around with the different exposure... Today I was taking a photo and I took 17 shots, but there was one shot shot that I thought was really cool... but it wasn't the first... so take a whole bunch of shots... and keep enjoying your camera!!! Thanks so much for posting these, and for all the discussions... which we all learn and have fun with, at least I know I do... all the best. Ned
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Old Apr 19, 2010, 9:15 AM   #10
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For some reason the photos are now showing from the first time you posted them, not sure what happened.

I wouldn't say that the WB is off in the first, just a bit under exposed. The jacket, assuming it is black is well balanced.
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