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Photo Examples of Good Rule or Technique Application, Help for the New Contributor


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Brian,

I think you're wrong. YOUR IMAGES ARE WONDERFUL.  I especially like the grasshopper.  Did you take that with a regular Macro Lens or did it require something more exotic?  I've adopted a rather frugal plan regarding my Photography.  "If I can get by without it, I do".  However, after looking at your images, I may have to spring for Zyrene Stacker. 

I definitely agree, most macro images look far better if they are focus stacked.  I appreciate your help in explaining and illustrating FOCUS STACKING 

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BALANCE in an image.  While we alluded to certain aspects of "photographic balance" in some of the past pages we never explained exactly what it is and how to accomplish it.  The following is an attem

Most of us that have been here a while have done our share of critiquing the portfolios of our many newcomers, often a bit more harshly than we intended or possibly should have.  While I realize

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2 hours ago, Steve Bower said:

ISOLATIONS: THE "BASICS"  I'm no expert, this is how I do it, you may know a better way!  CAUTION, reading this may insult your intelligence.

 

1. You can do isolations on white OUTSIDE or on a SHOOTING TABLE (I made one for less than $100.00).  

Outside, Overcast Skies are your friend.   The key is to find something you want to photograph that has a white sky in the background.

2. Get "OFF" your camera's AUTO setting as you're going to be OVEREXPOSING, a lot . 

I think you'll find the APERTURE  or "A" setting (on most cameras) is the easiest to use.  This setting allows you to dial in the aperture you want and let the camera determine the necessary shutter speed.  However, make sure the shutter speed (what the camera sets) will be fast enough to "hand hold" (unless, you're on a tripod). 

In order to "blow out the skies or the white background" and exposure your subject correctly, you will need to OVEREXPOSE (the camera settings), A LOT.   That amount is largely dependent on the size of your subject within the view finder.  If the subject covers a large portion of your image, the amount of the OVER EXPOSURE will be considerably LESS than a small subject with lots of sky or a white background.  There are other factors to consider but I'll let the experts address those.

After setting your chosen aperture, increase the EXPOSURE COMPENSATION beginning with  + 1 for an image with a large subject (covering the majority of the frame)  to 2.5 stops (maybe more) for images with small subjects and lots of white sky or background. 

Check the  shutter speed to make sure it is adequate (the exposure compensation adjustment will decrease (slow) the shutter speed in order to increase your exposure).  SHOOT.  Check your image.  If the Background is not WHITE increase or decrease the EXPOSURE COMPENSATION settings as necessary and shoot again. 

PRACTICE.  Within a short period of time you'll be able to accurately estimate the correct exposure.  The first two attached images were taken outside with an overcast sky, the last on my shooting table.  

 

 

z   _5230765  adj.jpg

z   F S Silk Spider O W  best.jpg

z   Isolated Dead Roach.jpg

How do you get the details back on your subject? I would imagine, if you overexpose that heron until the sky is white, the heron itself would be completely overexposed as well?

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Just now, Simone Hogan said:

How do you get the details back on your subject? I would imagine, if you overexpose that heron until the sky is white, the heron itself would be completely overexposed as well?

I was wondering the same thing. Surely, the whole scene would be overexposed, including the subject. Exposure blending would probably work well here - for static subjects at least but not for living subjects that move. 

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4 hours ago, Steve Bower said:

After setting your chosen aperture, increase the EXPOSURE COMPENSATION beginning with  + 1 for an image with a large subject (covering the majority of the frame)  to 2.5 stops (maybe more) for images with small subjects and lots of white sky or background. 

What Steve said here is how. Basically you get a longer exposure (E.V. in this case) as needed for the darker subject/foreground and therefore only the background gets over exposed with the correct exposure for the subject.. Same principle as shooting with backlight.

Personally I would do everything at manual. set the meter in your camera to spotmeter and meter only the subject if the subject is large enough. If not decrease (longer) the shutter speed  with a stop or two

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Simone, Patrick

Excellent question. 

I don't specifically recall the situation but the sky was very overcast (a very bright scene) which caused the evaluative metering of the camera to under expose the image subject (i.e. heron).  Increasing the exposure (via the exposure compensation) "corrected" the exposure on the heron and "whitened" the sky even more.  It was as Rudy suggested, a backlit scene.  Using spot metering would have been a better way to get an accurate exposure on the heron but I've practiced "my way" so long I've learned how to get quality results without having to change the camera's settings (spot metering) which I invariably would forget to change back.

While I didn't mention it, I always do post processing to correct "minor" exposure issues (you definitely don't want to know how I do that). 

I should have known better than to offer MY WAY, given how many ways there are to do things in photography.  However, I did think that it might be an understandable transition (from full auto) for new contributors.

Thanks for your help, Rudy! 

  

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1 hour ago, Rudy Umans said:

What Steve said here is how. Basically you get a longer exposure (E.V. in this case) as needed for the darker subject/foreground and therefore only the background gets over exposed with the correct exposure for the subject.. Same principle as shooting with backlight.

Personally I would do everything at manual. set the meter in your camera to spotmeter and meter only the subject if the subject is large enough. If not decrease (longer) the shutter speed  with a stop or two

Basically did the same thing with these images, though shot from a tripod with gimbal head.  The first one is a regular seller for me.

adult-bald-eagle-perched-on-450w-3657114

adult-bald-eagle-prepares-launch-450w-36

 

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6 hours ago, Steve Bower said:

Simone, Patrick

Excellent question. 

I don't specifically recall the situation but the sky was very overcast (a very bright scene) which caused the evaluative metering of the camera to under expose the image.  Increasing the exposure (via the exposure compensation) "corrected" the exposure on the heron and "whitened" the sky even more.  It was as Rudy suggested, a backlit scene.  Using spot metering would have been a better way to get an accurate exposure on the heron but I've practiced "my way" so long I've learned how to get quality results without having to change the camera's settings which I invariably would forget to change back.

While I didn't mention it, I always do post processing to correct "minor" exposure issues (you definitely don't want to know how I do that). 

I should have known better than to offer MY WAY, given how many ways there are to do things in photography.  However, I did think that it might be an understandable transition for new contributors.

Thanks for your help, Rudy! 

  

I think your shots are incredible - it is an area I did not even know was a thing.  Your way definitely works.

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12 hours ago, Steve Bower said:

Did you take that with a regular Macro Lens or did it require something more exotic? 

Thanks Steve.

I use the Nikon 105mm  and with two kendo extension rings for the closest macros.  I have often thought of investing in a bellows extension but never got round to it.  I did however buy a focus slider, not an expensive one but it makes multiple images easier.  Of course this can be done automatically if you are very rich!

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2 hours ago, jean-francois.me said:

curious on the focus stacking,  do you all use cameras that do focus intervals?

  • I just do it manually!  It is a good idea to use 'mirror up' in a DSLR to reduce vibration or, if you have it, a remote way of triggering the shutter.  Slow and time consuming but I do like the results.  The grasshopper was very dead, I found it on my terrace where it had been eating my Wisteria.  Some people chill live insects in the fridge to slow them down. 
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On 1/26/2019 at 9:16 AM, Brian Maudsley said:

Just to follow up on this I find that with very close up macros, even with good lighting, you have to use focus stacking to get the detail.  You can merge within Photoshop (placing photos into Layers, auto align and auto blend works best - although there are several ways of doing it) but I have found that Zyrene Stacker, is very much more flexible (but you do have to pay for it) but it means you can make very fine adjustments (particularly in complex images like flowers.

A last comment is that while the hibiscus and grasshopper were done in side it is also possible to do rough stacking using 2-3 images at slightly different focus points and merging them later as in the red-hot poker flower.

My images are not wonderful but just do a search for images on Google, some are truly amazing!image.thumb.png.f1840053a3661475add7bd4ac0835cb0.pngimage.thumb.png.4c27b14dd29d66b88167c06191685321.pngimage.thumb.png.7ce2e5cb927409f6ee3f91f1e3fb6126.png

Don't sell yourself short, these are very well done.  The grass hopper is amazing...

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CONCEPT PHOTOGRAPY

Boy am I over my head and out of my league on this one.  I need all the help I can get.  If you do this True Stock Photography, Please help me Out.

I have submitted less than a dozen of these and they've all sold a few times (in ten years) but I really don't have an idea what works and why.  I've got to think that they have the greatest sales potential if they portray or spoof a current trend or event but other than that I'm clueless. 

This may be one of those TRADE SECRETS no one is willing to discuss but I'm sure we would love to hear any insight you might have that will inspire us.

Attached (primarily for your amusement) is an image I submitted at the height of the Swine Flu epidemic a few years back (quite a few).  I had such high hope for it and just knew it was going to make me a bundle.  It flopped, miserably with 2 sales!

If no one is willing to divulge their trade secrets, maybe this IS an opportunity to show off those CONCEPT IMAGES that just didn't work.  The "wonderful" concepts that should have been great sellers, if only those "dumb" buyers knew how intelligent, innovative and insightful we really are (were).      

z   IMG_6785 All Black H1N1.jpg

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10 minutes ago, Steve Bower said:

CONCEPT PHOTOGRAPY

Boy am I over my head and out of my league on this one.  I need all the help I can get.  If you do this True Stock Photography, Please help me Out.

I have submitted less than a dozen of these and they've all sold a few times (in ten years) but I really don't have an idea what works and why.  I've got to think that they have the greatest sales potential if they portray or spoof a current trend or event but other than that I'm clueless. 

This may be one of those TRADE SECRETS no one is willing to discuss but I'm sure we would love to hear any insight you might have that will inspire us.

Attached (primarily for your amusement) is an image I submitted at the height of the Swine Flu epidemic a few years back (quite a few).  I had such high hope for it and just knew it was going to make me a bundle.  It flopped, miserably with 2 sales!

If no one is willing to divulge their trade secrets, maybe this IS an opportunity to show off those CONCEPT IMAGES that just didn't work.  The "wonderful" concepts that should have been great sellers, if only those "dumb" buyers knew how intelligent, innovative and insightful we really are (were).      

z   IMG_6785 All Black H1N1.jpg

I have never done concept photography in my life - but the thing that springs to my mind looking at that image is swap the plastic pigs with H1N1 on them for a "pig" skull (ie a pigs face looking skull like as an actual pig skull looks nothing like how people imagine) to make a skull and crossbones image using the needle and thermometer.

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concept photography comes in different shapes and forms and by far not all of them are abstracts.

couple of minutes before 12 is a concept. Sold a good number of times

monochrome image of a downtown Miami street clock at a few minutes before twelve

Dead/unconscious stickman with medication is also a concept. Sold too. Not as many as the clock, but still... and no model release required. (at least not yet lol)

 The dangers of Drug overdose concept, symbolized by an anonymous  wooden mannequin

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11 minutes ago, Steve Bower said:

Where were you when I waking up in the middle of the night thinking up this great concept (ten years ago).

I thought it was truly ingenious when I came up with the idea to use the "Pig Mania" pieces.  I was wrong?  Now you tell me. 

No one even knows what the swine flu is now.  I thinks it's too late.

Trust me if I had been there at the time it would have taken me 10 years to think of it - and I would not have thought of it at all without seeing your image first.  I am not good with the right idea at the right time - but can do the wrong idea at the wrong time without any affort at all lol

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  • Steve Bower changed the title to Photo Examples of Good Rule or Technique Application, Help for the New Contributor

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