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Old Dec 10, 2004, 5:49 AM   #1
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Hi all - been reading the forums here for a couple of weeks but not yet posted anything. It seems a great place to learn about photography and pick up hints and tips.

Taking photographs for me, until this year, has just been something I do on holiday or at events without any real thought going into the photo. I've had a couple of cheap digicams, but at the start of this year I bought myself a Kodak DX6490 which has really changed the way I look at photography. I actually get up early in the morning now just to go and take photos!! Unheard of before!

The links below are a few photos taken not long after I get the camera. 3 of the 4 are taken in fully automatic mode (don't yet know enough about PASM to use it effectively). No post-production, other than a bit of cropping and resizing (to make them a bit more web-friendly!)

1: Macro shot of a flower not quite in bloom - http://www.phringedesign.co.uk/steves/1.jpg

2: A crow looking out over the grand canyon - http://www.phringedesign.co.uk/steves/2.jpg

3: A couple of crows at the grand canyon.. Preening? Or just bullying!? - http://www.phringedesign.co.uk/steves/3.jpg

3: A dolphin caught with a shutter speed of 1/512 sec coming out of a pool - http://www.phringedesign.co.uk/steves/4.jpg

Please, let me know what you think. I am eager to learn. My wide angle lens and polorizing filter arrived yesterday so I'm off out to play!

Thanks all,

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Old Dec 10, 2004, 7:18 AM   #2
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Hi, Andy. Welcome to the forum :-).

I love your "kissing" crows !

The flower bud is nice, but it is a shame that the highlights have blown, i.e. the top part has gone completely white and lost all detail. I fully sympathise with you - it is a problem that I get quite often !

Have plenty of fun with the camera, and post some more soon.

Regards, John
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Old Dec 10, 2004, 8:45 AM   #3
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Great shots, I really like the grand canyon shots and the dolphin is very good too:-)
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Old Dec 11, 2004, 8:00 PM   #4
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That canyon shot with the blackies in the corner is special. Great choice of artistic composition. I look forward to seeing a few more from you, looks like you've got a mind for photography.
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Old Dec 11, 2004, 11:49 PM   #5
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Since you asked for comments, here are my thoughts:
You mention that there is no post production. This is an aspect of photography that I find I don't enjoy, but it makes a HUGE difference in the quality of the pictures. I don't know what software you use, but I recommend finding a good book about it (I can recommend a few for photoshop) and reading about the parts the interest you. I'll comment on this more below.

1 - The detail you got on the flower is really good. And the EOF is great, helped - no doubt - by the the camera. Cameras with a smaller sensor (like yours) have larger depth of field than cameras with larger sensors. It would have been very difficult for me to get that entire flower in focus. Its not a picture I'd hang on my wall, but I like it.

2 - This is the picture that would benefit most from post-processing. I would select the crow, then tell it to select the inverse (everything else) and increase the contrast. Because there is so much air between you and the subject (the canyon) this reduces contrast. The walls of the canyon have some great colors in them, but they look washed out. The part that is slightly over exposed is a distraction, but overall it is very well done. I think there is great potential in this shot.

3 - An animal shot with some character, nicely done. Also, very well exposed (even if you just leaned on the camera to do it right.) Dark subjects are not easy to get... the feather detail is very nice. I believe this is some form of boding ritual or play. This is certainly not preening (some birds do preen each other as part of the pair-bonding rituals... I don't know if crows do this.) The over exposed spot over the head is a difficult thing. On one hand, you don't want this ever (especially right in the middle) but if you reduced the exposure to correct it you might have lost the detail in the birds. Difficult choice. In the end, I'd rather have the feathers than no hilight.

4 - Well timed, but (to me) the least interesting shot of the bunch. But not every shot is supposed to be art. You did a good job of recording the moment and its well done technically.

Keep it up, I look forward to more pictures.

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Old Dec 13, 2004, 2:16 PM   #6
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Thanks all for your comments, I've really started to enjoy photography more since getting the dx6490.

In response to Eric, thanks for the in-depth comments. I do use photoshop regularly and have quite a few good books on it. I just haven't really used it for serious post-production on photos. Mainly I have used it up to now for very minor tweaks and creating web graphics. I will certainly start to use it more as a tool for using on my photographs now.

Thanks again!

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