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Photography Tips - 'whites' in pictures

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cerinthe's picture
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Joined: Oct 16 2005
Photography Tips - 'whites' in pictures

"limpopo" wrote:
You got the whites just right with the swan, Katja. Great going.

That's one thing I never could understand, whites always look the same to me Puzzled Your pic of the egret on one leg in sunset light, the white had such a warm colour.

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"Bella Felina" wrote:
I don't know who would be in charge of picking a weekly topic, but maybe we just create a new topic each week. People can go to the current week and take a look at what's posted and we can all critique everyone's work.
Hi Bella, anyone can start a new topic or ask questions, give tips etc. So if you have any good tips to share, I'm one of those people who can use them and would love to read them Sticking out tongue

Anonymous
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Sounds like a good idea to me. I always appreciate suggestions and this way everyone could show some different things and bring up problems they encounter.

I don't know who would be in charge of picking a weekly topic, but maybe we just create a new topic each week. People can go to the current week and take a look at what's posted and we can all critique everyone's work.

cerinthe's picture
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Good idea SD, we must discuss it

Anonymous
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Interesting.

I was stopping down in my Olympus today, on aperature priority, and oddly the lower I stopped the brigher and more over exposed the image got. I wonder what I was doing wrong?'

YOu know what I would love to see here? A weekly camera workshop where we tackle one thing at a time about digital photography of birds (and wildlife and landscape) with some of you great experienced photog's helping teach others. One subject at a time. And at the end of the week, the "class" could show their pic's and give their setting info etc. and we could critique on another?

Limiting the number of photo's each student in class posts, of course, to two perhaps a week?

What do you say?

We could ask Bella Fina and Alf and others too to lead us.

Anonymous
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Yes, I also tried the bracketing - and too many pictures were generated, as you say.

So I just check the histogram and picture... if it looks OK, I carry on at that setting. If it looks iffy, I stop down or up and take another picture or two. The Canon thumbnail flashes in those areas where the whites are overblown - which helps a lot.

For the brightness of the water surface, I stop down using aperture compensation - which is available in the non-auto settings. Even that does not always work. Sometimes, shooting from another angle helps.

It as all a matter of fine-tuning and seeing the results. After a while, one gets a little more comfortable with the performance of a particular camera - and its idiosyncrasies.

Sometimes a session of just experimenting can help - without taking any important pictures.

cerinthe's picture
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"Limpopo" wrote:
Professional photographers always "bracket" their shots - take normal, one stop lower, one stop higher. I guess this is because even if the histogram looks good, sometimes the picture is not, depending on content. I find that an expanse of water is often too bright.
I have done that often when I started and couldn't tell which was the right settings to use. Sometimes the overexposed pic was best, sometimes the underexposed pic was best. It did land me with thousands of pics, that and using the burst function where I could make a series of pics. At the moment I'm back to auto, I don't really dare to go out and take all day on a certain aperture, but I have to or I will never learn my cam. Another thing is, what do you do to temper the brightness of a watersurface?

Anonymous
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Hi Cerinthe,

Yes, I use PS to read in my pictures, crop and size them etc. and save them to file.

When I started with digital photography, I used automatic settings, then after overcoming some nervousness, I started doing more manual stuff. I always use aperture priority now, and set the ISO, aperture and aperture compensation. The ISO setting depends on the day. If very sunny, 200 or 400. If very overcast, 800 or so.

I don't use the histogram in PShop - but rather, as I take a picture. After snapping a picture, I glance at the histogram in the camera to make sure it is not too much to the left (under-exposure) or too much to the right (over-exposure). I have found just left of center for the max peak is about right.

Professional photographers always "bracket" their shots - take normal, one stop lower, one stop higher. I guess this is because even if the histogram looks good, sometimes the picture is not, depending on content. I find that an expanse of water is often too bright.

Non-professionals can always do the "bracketing" afterwards on just one shot - that is adjust the brightness afterwards. Digital photography is not actually "pure" - there is a fair amount of manipulation of the data that goes on in the camera head before the picture is produced. However, getting a picture that is closest to what one wants when actually taking the picture is probably the best. It is too time consuming to have to manipulate the picture afterwards - which I have done on some pictures, but less and less as one gets used to the camera.

cerinthe's picture
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Joined: Oct 16 2005

Thanks Limpopo, it was taken on a gloomy winter day. The swans can come very close, they are used to being fed by pasersby.
Is it the norm to Photoshop pics? Everybody I know ps their pics, I don't know how much, but it seems to have become the standard to do it. Have you done any ps on your pics?
I had a scan thru one of your albums, such neat and good, clear pics you have. Fascinating and such a pleasure to look at them.
I still have to learn how to work with a histogram. I can see it on my LED screen, but don't know how to use it to my advantage.

Anonymous
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Hi Cerinthe,

That picture had good exposure. The histogram of it is as follows:

The brightest white is well away from the maximum. The lowest values tend toward zero very nicely. There is room to brighten it, if it was ever required. It has a good distribution of values.

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africlub
Joined: Feb 18 2006

P.S - EGRET - 10.5 OUT OF 10 GREAT PIC

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