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Old Apr 9, 2009, 3:46 PM   #1
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Ihave an A-100. AndI use the Tam 70-300 di ld,Minolta 50mm 1.7.I know it'sat the bottom of the rung as far Alphas go, but when I see picsfrom others theylook so much colorful than mine. especially the ones of birds and such.I really dont have any examples (althoughI can get some this weekend) becauseI just put them in them in the trash. But until then,can someone tell me the secret? Arepics in for instance the DPR wildlife threads that much better because of photoshop? Are my lens justgarbage, shouldI checkdifferent settings in my camera if so can someone give mea starting point. I know without pics this is vague at best but I have been sitting here thinking about it, got a little frustrated and decided to post. lol thanks for your time.
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Old Apr 9, 2009, 4:16 PM   #2
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antonlmo wrote:
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I know without pics this is vague at best but I have been sitting here thinking about it, got a little frustrated and decided to post.
Exactly. ;-)

Post some samples of photos that you don't like, and members can probably give you some tips. There are any number of things that can cause photos to look "bland", including lenses, camera settings, post processing techniques, and more.

Lighting is also very important. Run your mouse cursor over the photos in this article for an example of how much difference lighting can make:

http://www.luminous-landscape.com/es...0seconds.shtml



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Old Apr 9, 2009, 6:54 PM   #3
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antonlmo wrote:
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Arepics in for instance the DPR wildlife threads that much better because of photoshop?
Absolutely! That's why I never bought any camera based on images posted on the internet. I'd say 90-95% of them have been post processed one way or another. Some more, some less. You can change some of your camera settings to increase contrast, sharpness and saturation and choose color mode "VIVID", so the images will have more "punch". But the bottom line is, unless you do some editing (it does not have to be in Photoshop, you can use Picasa, which is a free software from Google), your images will not look as good as what you see posted in dpreview. Also, keep in mind that people are very very selective on that forum. They may take 1000 pictures only to select a couple to be posted. So, you should take all this into consideration.
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Old Apr 9, 2009, 8:23 PM   #4
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antonlmo wrote:
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Ihave an A-100. AndI use the Tam 70-300 di ld,Minolta 50mm 1.7.I know it'sat the bottom of the rung as far Alphas go, but when I see picsfrom others theylook so much colorful than mine. especially the ones of birds and such.I really dont have any examples (althoughI can get some this weekend) becauseI just put them in them in the trash. But until then,can someone tell me the secret? Arepics in for instance the DPR wildlife threads that much better because of photoshop? Are my lens justgarbage, shouldI checkdifferent settings in my camera if so can someone give mea starting point. I know without pics this is vague at best but I have been sitting here thinking about it, got a little frustrated and decided to post. lol thanks for your time.
Just for comparison purposes.

Many years ago I shot several rolls of fim at a major zoo. ONE picture was remarkable to me. Oh sure there were lots of "good" pictures, but there was only ONE picture which stood out.

Why?

Lighting. The lighting was perfect. Even though the subject was amale Peacock in full colorful spread the lighting made absolutely the difference for the picture.

I have tried to duplicate the picture in digital and film. Never have been able. It doesn't matter whether I try film or digital, good gear or cheap gear, there is just no practical way to duplicate the lighting...... the right season, the right number of leaves on the trees, the angle of the sun filtering through those leaves, my body location, the downward angle of the camera, the position and rotation of the bird.

Post processing is not the answer, I can post process all I want and will never achieve the impact of the original.

Now relook at those DPR pictures. Is that shot 104 of 507 taken that day? What happened to the rest of the 507 shots? Is the photographer shooting 507 shots every day just to practice his/her trade?You know, practice does make perfect. Is the photographer spending 3 hours in prep to achieve the single perfect shot? 3 Hours sounds unreasonable?Well, I do product shots for my business. I can seemingly spend hours trying to find the perfect downward angle and accent lighting to properly showcase the goods. Practice makes perfect, I have cut my prep time down to a few minutes per project ... because I have shot thousands ifnot tens of thousands practiceshots.

Reread the DPR comments. Some shooters don't PP anything (other then cropping and resizing for web). Others do some major PP. Most will admit their PP efforts. Regardless of PP or No-PP, the shooters have practiced their trade. Some of those guys and gals are doing this for a living. Some are not. Some are spending hours EVERY day with a camera in their hands.



Post some of your pictures here. Give us something to view. It may not be as bad as you think.

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Old Apr 9, 2009, 11:10 PM   #5
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Check the ISO setting on your camera and make sure you are shooting at ISO 100. When I first had my A200 I had a whole batch of pictures that looked very horrible. I found out the camera was set ISO1600 and +1 1/3 exposure. Once I reset the peramators I was able to get gfood pictures. Also play around with D-lighting feature (can't remember what it is called for the life of me -- its an option in the function menu).

Good luck on getting the issue reolved.

dave
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Old Apr 10, 2009, 12:59 PM   #6
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Thanks for the replies. That link showing the differences light can make is my story to a tee! I am going to try and get some shots maybe at the local botanical gardens or something this weekend just to see ifthingsimprove, although it'sgoing to be hit or miss this weekend with partly cloudy skies.I think that if i can come to the conclusion taht all I need is practice, Im fine. but i have to know that that is the problem.
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Old Apr 10, 2009, 9:07 PM   #7
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antonlmo wrote:
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Thanks for the replies. That link showing the differences light can make is my story to a tee! I am going to try and get some shots maybe at the local botanical gardens or something this weekend just to see ifthingsimprove, although it'sgoing to be hit or miss this weekend with partly cloudy skies.I think that if i can come to the conclusion taht all I need is practice, Im fine. but i have to know that that is the problem.
Partly Cloudy (or even Fully Cloudy) is not a bad thing. Neither is it a good thing. Some very interesting or even great photos can be achieved using Cloud coverage and changing (or lack thereof) light to your benefit.

Regardless of what you might think about the photos, go ahead and show the pics. Ya never know, somebody might suggest a simple change in technique, a different camera setting, a closer/wider perspectiveor whatever to achieve a great photo.
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Old Apr 15, 2009, 9:35 PM   #8
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Here are some with the Tam 70-300 pretty sunny day. Feeder was about 15-20 ft away. And for some reason my pictures look much sharper in the VF than the finished product. and when crop or zoom, there is no detail. Maybe the bird is just too small...I don't know.
http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo...eat=directlink
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Old Apr 15, 2009, 10:53 PM   #9
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You need to move closer or use a longer focal length lens. You don't have enough pixels representing your subject.

Also, that photo was taken at 300mm (where that lens is going to be softest), with the aperture wide open at f/5.6 (where that lens is going to be softest on it's long end).

Stopping down the aperture a bit may help some (i.e., try shooting at f/8 or f/11 when lighting permits if you zoom in all the way to 300mm). Make sure to keep an eye on your shutter speed if you do that. That one was at 1/250 second (which could be a bit on the slow side if the bird was moving any), and you'd need to increase ISO speed if you stop down your aperture any to prevent blur from subject movement.

But, the biggest issue is you're too far away to capture enough detail (either move closer, or get a longer focal length lens). Each time you double your focal length so that the subject fills a greater percentage of the frame (or halve the distance to your subject by moving closer), you end up with 4 times as many pixels representing your subject.

Take this 100% crop of your uploaded image as an example It's only 453 x 302 pixels (approximately 0.14 Megapixels), and the bird isn't even filling the entire frame. You need more pixels representing your subject to resolve finer detail. I see that your image was downsized already since the size is 1600 x 1071 pixels (approximately 1.7 Megapixels). So, if you had used the same framing in this crop by moving closer or using a longer focal length lens, you'd have approximately 12 times as many pixels representing your subject after downsizing to 1600 x 1071. If you cropped the image before downsizing it, then the detail gain by using a longer lens (or moving closer) would be even greater.

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Old Apr 16, 2009, 6:31 AM   #10
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JimC wrote:
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You need to move closer or use a longer focal length lens. You don't have enough pixels representing your subject.

BINGO!!! Single biggest mistake of people starting out shooting wildlife. A 400mm lens from about 10 feet would be good for a bird that size. If the bird doesn't fill 1/2 the frame at the start (i.e. before cropping), don't expect sharpness. Of course the goal should be about 2/3 of the frame but 1/2 will do.

If small birds are of interest to you, I suggest looking at something like the sigma 50-500.
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