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Shiney_McShine

CALLING ALL PHOTOGRAPHERS!!!

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muhqg6.jpg

this was during the ice storm a couple weeks ago. and I changed the ice to being all blue in "lightroom". (I also did other colours, but this one is my favorite). but this is of a fence frozen in ice.

this was taken with a d7000, f22, 1/250 sec, iso-100.

I like to keep my iso as low as possible to get out noise. but it forces me to increase the heck out of the F stop and lower the speed and rely on my flash.

Also feel free to tell me what you would do different.

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kbc6xi.jpg

Nikon D7000, f/13, iso-100, 1/320.

this was taking during the daytime but as you see I had the exposure down and the iso. so it made it look dark, yet captured everything great. this is one of my favorites from the snow/ice storm. if you look half down the road on the left, there is a man there. and it just gives more of a cool look to me.

thoughts on anything you would change for the better?

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zl2o0g.jpg

gave the camera to my wife and had it set. and said to start clicking. I made this into a panroma view.

d7000, f/1.8, iso-100, 1/800.

I love this picture but I hate how it is blurred some on me. it could be the result because of how low the F-stop is, but sometimes this camera does not auto zoom correctly. and I took it to someone and he promised me everything was fine and cleaned it.

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e9t8qd.jpg

d7000, f/4, 1/400, iso-100

I edited this in lightroom and made it black and white and left my wife in colour, including her reflection in the water. you might need to click on the picture to make it bigger so you can see.

thoughts on what you would change?

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1r8e93.jpg

d7000, f/2.8, 1/800, iso-100.

I did some editing in lightroom and brought out the "shadow" in the trees more.

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2yn33uc.jpg

d7000, f/2.8, 1/800, iso-100

edited in lightroom.

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which one is better?

v63ls1.jpg2m7b2o0.jpg

I have a friend who does this as a huby as well. And he thinks the one on the left is better. yet I like the one on the right. what is y'alls thoughts.

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which one is better?

v63ls1.jpg2m7b2o0.jpg

I have a friend who does this as a huby as well. And he thinks the one on the left is better. yet I like the one on the right. what is y'alls thoughts.

They are showing up top/bottom, not left/right. That aside, I think the one on top is slightly better. They both seem like the exposure is way off as well as the WB. They are a little too cold blueish gray IMO. I would like to see the top one with some post processing adjustments ( bump up the exposure, adjust white balance, add a bit more sharpness so the branch & berries pop more, adjust the contrast as well as the blacks and the whites).

Shooting in snow can be a real pain in the azz. It can cause your lens to fog up a bunch, leaving your pictures hazy. There is also the issue of being out in the cold & then bringing your gear inside too soon after. This can lead to condensation inside of the camera body and/or lenses. It's a really easy way to destroy your equipment.

The other issue is that the light os often not good for taking photos. When it snows, the sky is often dim and gray. Rarely are there interesting looking clouds and usable light, even at dawn & dusk (prime outdoor shooting times for natural light). If there is good light, then you have to deal with an almost blinding glare from the brightness of the overwhelming white snow. So, it's mostly too gloomy or too bright... rarely just right. Because there is such a fine line with perfect snow shooting conditions, it is very important to make sure you are metering for proper exposures & setting the white balance accordingly. Otherwise, you run a serious risk of having either blindingly bright, blown out, over exposed shots or bleak, drab looking, hazy, under exposed shots.

One other thing, it can be a pain trying to use a tripod & a shutter release in the snow, but it can help big time. At the very least, you should try to steady the camera by leaning in a tree or wall or whatever. When hand holding, even the slightest camera shake can ruin an otherwise beautiful shot. In the freezing cold, as your body may be slightly shivering, this can easily show up in your shots & make thinks blurry and out of focus.

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zl2o0g.jpg

gave the camera to my wife and had it set. and said to start clicking. I made this into a panroma view.

d7000, f/1.8, iso-100, 1/800.

I love this picture but I hate how it is blurred some on me. it could be the result because of how low the F-stop is, but sometimes this camera does not auto zoom correctly. and I took it to someone and he promised me everything was fine and cleaned it.

If the light isn't great, boosting the ISO a touch can be much more helpful in those conditions than shooting at 1.8, 2.8, etc. What lenses were you using for these shots?

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If the light isn't great, boosting the ISO a touch can be much more helpful in those conditions than shooting at 1.8, 2.8, etc. What lenses were you using for these shots?

1. thanks for aiming at my bad spots. these are the only way I can get better. I will go back to lightroom and try what you suggested and then put it back on here to see what you think.

- I do have a tri-pod and a gorilla pod. but I was not using it on this shot.

2. as for the shot of me in it. it was Nikon 50MM 1:1.8 I love that lense. And after I saw the shot, I think I should have bumped it up in ISO which would have helped me in bumping it up in my F-stop. The picture still turned out great for me, but just lacks doing those couple things to make it amazing.

3. any flaws you see or suggestions. point them out. Thanks. And I will do the same for anyone else, as long as they ask for it.

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1. thanks for aiming at my bad spots. these are the only way I can get better. I will go back to lightroom and try what you suggested and then put it back on here to see what you think.

- I do have a tri-pod and a gorilla pod. but I was not using it on this shot.

2. as for the shot of me in it. it was Nikon 50MM 1:1.8 I love that lense. And after I saw the shot, I think I should have bumped it up in ISO which would have helped me in bumping it up in my F-stop. The picture still turned out great for me, but just lacks doing those couple things to make it amazing.

3. any flaws you see or suggestions. point them out. Thanks. And I will do the same for anyone else, as long as they ask for it.

Just from looking at the photo, I had an idea that you were probably using a prime lens. That actually explains a lot about the blur, as does shooting at 1.8, 2.8. etc.

With a crop sensor (like your D7000 & the D5100 I use) a 35mm actually acts more like a 50mm, and a 50mm acts more like something around 85mm, because it appears zoomed in much more than it would be on a full frame camera. Typically, you want to use a wider lens for shooting landscape stuff. On a DX format camera, this means anywhere from 8mm to around 24mm. These lenses have a much larger DOF than the 35, 50, 85, and longer. Also, shooting at 2.8, 1.8, 1.4, etc. is great when you are shooting moving objects in low light, or sports, birds, etc. However, they also tend to have a very shallow DOF. This is why they are great for portraits, but awful for landscapes. When shooting a portrait with a 50mm, your subject will be very sharp, but your background will be a nice, rich, creamy bokeh (that desired blurry effect to help the subject stand out). When shooting a landscape, you'd usually want as much as possible in focus across the entire frame. The Tokina 11-16 2.8 is a pretty solid lens if you want to go really wide for DX & still feel like you would need the 2.8

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Another thing to do when shooting in the snow is to try to get something with some color in the shot. Then, boost the vibrance & contrast a good bit in your post processing to give it some punch. Sort of the same concept & a similar effect to the selective color effect you did with the shot of your wife & her reflection, but done in a more natural way. Selective color, like HDR, can be a cool looking tool, but it is really easy to go overboard with it & make otherwise awesome shots look a bit overdone. It's like a naturally beautiful girl who wears too much makeup. You also don't want to go to that well too often, because all of your shots start looking the same, and even if one is amazing, it'll be hard for it to stand out from the rest. Anyhow, adding some elements of color into the shot can help make what could be a drab scene stand out a bit better. Work the highlights a bit too, and even the grad filter in Lightroom... although much better if you use a real grad filter when shooting.. to get the clouds looking a bit more dynamic as well.

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Just from looking at the photo, I had an idea that you were probably using a prime lens. That actually explains a lot about the blur, as does shooting at 1.8, 2.8. etc.

With a crop sensor (like your D7000 & the D5100 I use) a 35mm actually acts more like a 50mm, and a 50mm acts more like something around 85mm, because it appears zoomed in much more than it would be on a full frame camera. Typically, you want to use a wider lens for shooting landscape stuff. On a DX format camera, this means anywhere from 8mm to around 24mm. These lenses have a much larger DOF than the 35, 50, 85, and longer. Also, shooting at 2.8, 1.8, 1.4, etc. is great when you are shooting moving objects in low light, or sports, birds, etc. However, they also tend to have a very shallow DOF. This is why they are great for portraits, but awful for landscapes. When shooting a portrait with a 50mm, your subject will be very sharp, but your background will be a nice, rich, creamy bokeh (that desired blurry effect to help the subject stand out). When shooting a landscape, you'd usually want as much as possible in focus across the entire frame. The Tokina 11-16 2.8 is a pretty solid lens if you want to go really wide for DX & still feel like you would need the 2.8

Tokina, eh? That is my other lense. and I use it on landscape only. If I put a person in it, it makes them way to small and if I have the person get closer it starts to stretch their body out.

but my tokina is a SD 11-16 F2.8 (IF) DX. I love it, but it is to much ultra wide for me to use with a subject in it.

but I do love love love it for landscape.

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And the biggest thing with the snow is that unless you live somewhere that has a ton of it for long periods of time, it's really, really hard to get used to shooting in the stuff, as you aren't really afforded as many opportunities to get acclimated or wait for a day with better shooting conditions (light, clouds, etc.).

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And the biggest thing with the snow is that unless you live somewhere that has a ton of it for long periods of time, it's really, really hard to get used to shooting in the stuff, as you aren't really afforded as many opportunities to get acclimated or wait for a day with better shooting conditions (light, clouds, etc.).

Yep, I hate it. and it is a reason for why I shoot in RAW.

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I wish I had somewhere I could go to, that would explain lightroom better to me. I usually just mess with the color in it. but I know the things like sharpening and etc would help me a lot, but I can never tell when I am doing to much or not enough on things like sharpening.

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Tokina, eh? That is my other lense. and I use it on landscape only. If I put a person in it, it makes them way to small and if I have the person get closer it starts to stretch their body out.

but my tokina is a SD 11-16 F2.8 (IF) DX. I love it, but it is to much ultra wide for me to use with a subject in it.

but I do love love love it for landscape.

I was super close to buying that lens but went with the Sigma 8-16 4.5-5.6 instead, because I wanted to go as wide as possible without getting a fisheye. The difference between 8mm on the Sigma & the 11mm on the Tokina is massive, and that was a bigger factor for me than the 2.8.

You are absolutely correct about trying to shoot people with those ultra wides. Great for landscapes, but far too much distortion for people... especially up close.

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I only shoot RAW as well.

check your PM

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I wish I had somewhere I could go to, that would explain lightroom better to me. I usually just mess with the color in it. but I know the things like sharpening and etc would help me a lot, but I can never tell when I am doing to much or not enough on things like sharpening.

Sharpening should be one of the last things you do, and it should always be done sparingly. Too much can cause some noise.

First, make sure you are making adjustments in the "Develop" section of Lightroom, and not just making the minor adjustments in the "Library" section. Also, be sure the brightness on your monitor is up pretty high & that it has been properly calibrated for color. (That last bit is especially important if you plan to make prints, as an uncalibrated monitor can lead to colors not being true when printed.)

Next, I usually start with tweaking the exposure a bit if I didn't get it right when shooting.

Then, adjust the highlights & shadows accordingly. (In most cases, I end up dropping the highlights a lot, like -90+ & boost the shadows, around +90)

Then tweak the white & the black sliders. Sometimes, you will need to have very little of one, but you should almost never take either of them 100% out or 100% up.

After this, I will adjust the contrast a bit to see how that can change things. Often, it doesn't take much of a change to make a significant difference.

Next comes a small boost in clarity (usually somewhere from +6 to +18). Note that this will help things stand out a bit, but too much starts getting into unnatural looking, over-processed HDR territory. If you are shooting people & the lighting of their faces are coming off a tad harsh, you can drop the clarity to -5 or slightly more to "soften" things up & make them a bit more pleasing.

After that is the vibrance & saturation. I very, very rarely ever mess with saturation. I will often boost the vibrance to near the same levels as the clarity (+5 to +20). Again, it is really easy to go overboard with this. For B & W shots, you can actually set the treatment in Lightroom to Black & White (just above the white balance slider), but I tend to leave it in color, make my adjustments as listed above, and then drop the saturation out to -100%. Then I go back & adjust the contrast, black, and white sliders as needed. No real reason for that, just a personal preference. Lightroom also has a number of preset filters available under "Presets" on the left side of the page. I usually don't bother with these, but it can be fun to hold the cursor over the names of the filters to see how they could effect your shot (the preview will be in the smaller window on the upper left).

At this point, I will add the sharpness. Open the "Detail" menu on the right & adjust the sharpness slider. Sometimes you don't need much, sometimes you can get it to +120 without too much noise. Just be tasteful. I don't usually mess with the rest of the sliders here.

Next come a HUGE step... adjusting the tone curve. This is another area with seemingly endless possibilities in term of how it can effect you pictures. Sometimes, just s light boost or drop of an area is all you need. Other times, a drastic curve can really bring a photo to life.

Sometimes, I will play around with the luminance, saturation, and hue under the "HSL / Color / B&W" header, but not often, and never too drastically unless I am doing something with selective color.

The split toning can be very useful to add a touch of color to a dramatic sky, but again it's easy to over do it.

Under "Lens Corrections", click the Color tab & ALWAYS check the box to remove CA. For landscapes where the horizon isn't quite straight, you can click the Manual tab, then use the rotate slider to get it where it needs to be... be sure to check the constrain crop box under that set of sliders. If you have dark corners due to vingnetting, or you what to add a bit, you can adjust that a bit, too. If I ever feel a need to add any, it is often very, very subtle.

Most importantly, after you feel good with where you are, walk away. Come back in 10 -20 minutes & look at it again with fresh eyes & mind. Keep doing this until it feels right, but don't drive yourself crazy making too many minor tweaks. Unless you are going for a deliberate effect, Lightroom should be used as an enhancer, not the primary focus. If you just don't have a good shot, tweaking the heck out of it won't be enough, and will just make it seem forced. It's best to get the shot as close to where you want it in camera, and then adjust from there.

Of course, every camera, every lens, every setting, every lighting condition, and every personal preference will be a little different, so there is no real right or wrong answer to any of this stuff. Just lots of trial and error & absorb as much knowledge as you can until you find what works best for you.

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Sharpening should be one of the last things you do, and it should always be done sparingly. Too much can cause some noise.

First, make sure you are making adjustments in the "Develop" section of Lightroom, and not just making the minor adjustments in the "Library" section. Also, be sure the brightness on your monitor is up pretty high & that it has been properly calibrated for color. (That last bit is especially important if you plan to make prints, as an uncalibrated monitor can lead to colors not being true when printed.)

Next, I usually start with tweaking the exposure a bit if I didn't get it right when shooting.

Then, adjust the highlights & shadows accordingly. (In most cases, I end up dropping the highlights a lot, like -90+ & boost the shadows, around +90)

Then tweak the white & the black sliders. Sometimes, you will need to have very little of one, but you should almost never take either of them 100% out or 100% up.

After this, I will adjust the contrast a bit to see how that can change things. Often, it doesn't take much of a change to make a significant difference.

Next comes a small boost in clarity (usually somewhere from +6 to +18). Note that this will help things stand out a bit, but too much starts getting into unnatural looking, over-processed HDR territory. If you are shooting people & the lighting of their faces are coming off a tad harsh, you can drop the clarity to -5 or slightly more to "soften" things up & make them a bit more pleasing.

After that is the vibrance & saturation. I very, very rarely ever mess with saturation. I will often boost the vibrance to near the same levels as the clarity (+5 to +20). Again, it is really easy to go overboard with this. For B & W shots, you can actually set the treatment in Lightroom to Black & White (just above the white balance slider), but I tend to leave it in color, make my adjustments as listed above, and then drop the saturation out to -100%. Then I go back & adjust the contrast, black, and white sliders as needed. No real reason for that, just a personal preference. Lightroom also has a number of preset filters available under "Presets" on the left side of the page. I usually don't bother with these, but it can be fun to hold the cursor over the names of the filters to see how they could effect your shot (the preview will be in the smaller window on the upper left).

At this point, I will add the sharpness. Open the "Detail" menu on the right & adjust the sharpness slider. Sometimes you don't need much, sometimes you can get it to +120 without too much noise. Just be tasteful. I don't usually mess with the rest of the sliders here.

Next come a HUGE step... adjusting the tone curve. This is another area with seemingly endless possibilities in term of how it can effect you pictures. Sometimes, just s light boost or drop of an area is all you need. Other times, a drastic curve can really bring a photo to life.

Sometimes, I will play around with the luminance, saturation, and hue under the "HSL / Color / B&W" header, but not often, and never too drastically unless I am doing something with selective color.

The split toning can be very useful to add a touch of color to a dramatic sky, but again it's easy to over do it.

Under "Lens Corrections", click the Color tab & ALWAYS check the box to remove CA. For landscapes where the horizon isn't quite straight, you can click the Manual tab, then use the rotate slider to get it where it needs to be... be sure to check the constrain crop box under that set of sliders. If you have dark corners due to vingnetting, or you what to add a bit, you can adjust that a bit, too. If I ever feel a need to add any, it is often very, very subtle.

Most importantly, after you feel good with where you are, walk away. Come back in 10 -20 minutes & look at it again with fresh eyes & mind. Keep doing this until it feels right, but don't drive yourself crazy making too many minor tweaks. Unless you are going for a deliberate effect, Lightroom should be used as an enhancer, not the primary focus. If you just don't have a good shot, tweaking the heck out of it won't be enough, and will just make it seem forced. It's best to get the shot as close to where you want it in camera, and then adjust from there.

Of course, every camera, every lens, every setting, every lighting condition, and every personal preference will be a little different, so there is no real right or wrong answer to any of this stuff. Just lots of trial and error & absorb as much knowledge as you can until you find what works best for you.

this is awesome. I need to get my color calibrated.

As for the curve and sharpening. I do what looks right and if I see no change I just leave it where it is set at.

I am going to try some things. and see what you thank.

thanks again

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this is awesome. I need to get my color calibrated.

As for the curve and sharpening. I do what looks right and if I see no change I just leave it where it is set at.

I am going to try some things. and see what you thank.

thanks again

My pleasure! Like I said, just mess around til you find what works for you. You can always go tweak stuff as you continue to learn more & figure out new things.

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this is my before shot.

2gtpxtx.jpg

below is doing some basic things as you described.

my exposure is +0.83

contrast +81

whites and blacks are -100 (sorry I had to go low because of had bad the original image was)

clarity +5

curves

- highlight -34

- lights +9

- darks -19

- shadows 0

then I jacked up the saturation and luminace a lot. (I think it looks good. but I hate going up that much)

sharpening

amount 64

radius 2.6

detail 61

and everything else I left at its setting because I could see change when I moved it

I clicked all the boxes as well.

ehnqww.jpg

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I wish I had somewhere I could go to, that would explain lightroom better to me. I usually just mess with the color in it. but I know the things like sharpening and etc would help me a lot, but I can never tell when I am doing to much or not enough on things like sharpening.

k-train's given some good advice. Another piece of advice is YouTube. TONS of tutorials out there. I've got a folder bookmarked in Mozilla with about 30 different ones that I've found.

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k-train's given some good advice. Another piece of advice is YouTube. TONS of tutorials out there. I've got a folder bookmarked in Mozilla with about 30 different ones that I've found.

Yeah with him talking about sharpening. that has helped me a ton. I really did not know it had that much affect if done correctly. and I think I am doing it right. specially the picture above I did.

if you would like to share any videos that you see I have a problem with. please share. no way can any photographer upset me with pointing out my flaws. It is the only thing that will make me better. So please do tell me what sucks and share what you think would fix it. Thanks

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