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Old Oct 25, 2007, 9:05 AM   #1
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Hi
I have had a point and shoot for the last five years. I bought the nikon d80 and just opened the box I have read the book a hundred times since I got it boy lots of stuff to learn anyway I grabbed my daughter and made her sit for me. I did use m mode but I wing it when it comes to the settings I have a couple of books on exposure that I just recently bought I think I need more.Well heres my very first pics with my new camera If someone could tell me what I did wrong or right or were they could improve. Thank you
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Old Oct 25, 2007, 9:08 AM   #2
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2nd pic
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Old Oct 25, 2007, 9:08 AM   #3
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3rd pic
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Old Oct 25, 2007, 10:00 AM   #4
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Hi and welcome to Steve's!!!

Well you are doing the right thing, reading, having a play, posting here...... also you are fortunate that you have a beautiful daughter to pose for you so that will really help with shooting portraits (if she doesn't get to bored ).

You can see in the shots the connection that you have with your daughter which really helps to give a positive feel to them, a relaxed model is always going to look a lot better than someone who is not comfortable with the photographer etc.

Here are my thoughts on the shots posted.

1, good lighting here but it looks like she is hunched over and also there is not enough contrast for my liking and also a bit dark in general so looks a little flat.

2, again a little flat looking and the eyes are a bit soft (99.99% of the time you want the eyes to be thefocal point of a portrait).Good use of light her to create someshape in the face so that works well.

3, this is myfave as you get to see her fantasticeyes with the change in lighting direction. This is also better forcontrast so I for sure is my fave of the 3. As you are new toDSLR's you might knot be aware that generally more post processing(PP) work needs to be done than with your P&S to get the best from the camera.

I hope you don't mindbut I've donesome quick edits on these for you tosee what I'm thinking.


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Old Oct 25, 2007, 10:46 AM   #5
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I love that! how did you do that. I have photoshop cs2. Im not sure I understand what you mean about pp and ps. Sorry would you mind explaining that to me. Thank you!!!
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Old Oct 25, 2007, 11:02 AM   #6
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I went into brightness/contrast and ajusted it a little but yours seem much sharper
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Old Oct 25, 2007, 11:19 AM   #7
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LOL, there are so many acronyms floating around here, but PP is post processing, in other words editing after taking the shot. I used PaintShop Pro for these (I use it more than CS3 as for a lot of things it is faster) and increased brightness and contrast and you are right mine are sharper .

All I did was apply unsharp mask, which is something you will want to do with all shots before posting, printing etc. It is something that will give your shots that extra pop and clarity. There are 3 boxes to control the amount of sharpening and for these I used 0.5, 100 and 0. When you have a play around with unsharp mask I would not suggest changing the last option but do play with the radius and amount. So for a web I usually use what I've shown above, for printing it is usually 1 or 1.5, 100, 0. Best thing to do is zoom in 100% on a shot and mess around with the settings to see what they do. Just don't over do it as it will look over processed rather than natural.

You are going to find a whole lot of knowledgeable people here (and some less so LOL) who will be more than willing to help you progress in your photography. All of us are learning, if we think we are not then we have lost the plot! Personally I specialise in sports photography but am starting to move into weddings (I've done 2 and have another this Sat). Feel free to check out my work; sports www.photographysmith.co.uk, weddings www.marksmithphotography.co.uk

Looking forward to seeing more of your work.

Mark
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Old Oct 25, 2007, 11:45 AM   #8
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Thank You so much. I'm gonna check out your pics right now.

Viki
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Old Oct 25, 2007, 5:17 PM   #9
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Cool, hope you like them.
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Old Oct 25, 2007, 9:55 PM   #10
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As Mark pointed out - post processing is really a very critical part of good quality photos. The more experienced you get the less you may have to do - but 99% of photos can be improved greatly with the right post processing.

I also agree - #3 is the best because of the eyes. And with some sharpening and contrast it's even better and IMO a really good photo

Keep at it - and keep seeking advice. Unfortunately there are too many people in forums that just want people to gush over how great their photos are. Those people don't really get any better. The people who seek out and accept constructive criticism (what other people think is good and what could be improved) - THEY get better. I also encourage you to use other forums here - taking portrait shots then post in the PEOPLE forum as well. Wildlife, post in the wildlife forum, etc. The reason being there are aLOT of specialized photographers and that's where the best advice comes from. A general shooter can offer some advice but a specialized one will notice other things as well - for example how you might better position the lights, or a different pose that would work well etc. Believe me, keep doing this and you'll improve in leaps and bounds!
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