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Improving my photos

andyh

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Joined
1 Jan 2009
Messages
1,921
Location
Derby
Hey guys!

Just wondered can you give me some advice, how can i improve when taking pics of my tank and livestock.

Are there a rules that i should follow?

I took this pic a few days ago and i am fairly happy, but i want to take better pic's and experiment more.

web.jpg


Taken using a Canon Powershot SX1 is (classed as bridge camera aka mega optical zoom)

Shutter 1/80
Aper 3.5
ISO 80
No Flash

This pic is one of older setup i had, but i am interested in improving my technique! I blame Saintly his pictures just make me what to play more with my camera!

web.jpg


Shutter 1/60
Aper 2.8
ISO 800
No Flash



What could i do to improve this?

Whats the best way to deal with reflections?

Bring on the observations/comments etc. Don't go to techy on me though :lol:
 

ceg4048

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Staff member
Joined
11 Jul 2007
Messages
9,063
Location
Chicago, USA
Hi,
On that first photo I would have cropped out the top part above the waterline. very uncool in a photo to show smears and equipment. I would also, if practicable try not to have the subject in the exact middle of the frame, but to have it on either the left or right third of the frame.

On the second shot you could have easily placed some kind of dark fabric around the tank to avoid showing the cables and external equipment. You could also arrange the angle of the shot to facilitate cropping them out. For serious shots you'd want to remove the internal gear as well, as these are distracting, especially the putrid green of the Eheim. The second shot looks almost as if you are trying to illustrate some point about equipment. Shoot from an angle that accentuates the beauty of the tank, not the chaos of the surrounding area.

Avoiding reflections is easy. Just drape everything with a dark bedsheet or blanket and work under the blanket. This eliminates external reflections. It's cumbersome, but worth the effort.

There's probably not much you can do about it, but being aware of the weaknesses will help you when you can do something about it. The substrate has been washed out or overexposed in the second shot. It's very difficult to avoid this without losing detail in the darker areas. Become familiar with a competent image program such as Photoshop which will enable you to mitigate exposure problems. The color balance is well done though.

Cheers,
 

andyh

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Thread starter
Joined
1 Jan 2009
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Location
Derby
ceg4048 said:
Hi,
On that first photo I would have cropped out the top part above the waterline. very uncool in a photo to show smears and equipment. I would also, if practicable try not to have the subject in the exact middle of the frame, but to have it on either the left or right third of the frame.


On the second shot you could have easily placed some kind of dark fabric around the tank to avoid showing the cables and external equipment. You could also arrange the angle of the shot to facilitate cropping them out. For serious shots you'd want to remove the internal gear as well, as these are distracting, especially the putrid green of the Eheim. The second shot looks almost as if you are trying to illustrate some point about equipment. Shoot from an angle that accentuates the beauty of the tank, not the chaos of the surrounding area.

Avoiding reflections is easy. Just drape everything with a dark bedsheet or blanket and work under the blanket. This eliminates external reflections. It's cumbersome, but worth the effort.

There's probably not much you can do about it, but being aware of the weaknesses will help you when you can do something about it. The substrate has been washed out or overexposed in the second shot. It's very difficult to avoid this without losing detail in the darker areas. Become familiar with a competent image program such as Photoshop which will enable you to mitigate exposure problems. The color balance is well done though.

Cheers,


Thanks, some excellent comments and i get what you saying about the second pic, it does feel like i have taken a photo of the green eheim pipes! Its really made me think.

I also take on board what your saying about the first pic, it goes back to the old saying its all about composure! The dirty glass detracts from the pic. I think i am going to have a play with the camera and try some pics as you suggested with the subject off center. I will let you know how i get on.
 

Mark Evans

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13 Jun 2008
Messages
6,484
Location
newark notts.
skinz180189 said:
and get as close as possible to the tank to reduce/avoid any reflections.

IME reflections arent due to the closeness. it's all about angles. or rather what bright lights/windows/TV's and there placement in the room.

imagine the whole scene...tank/you/ TV as a triangle. use common sense to gauge where the light will bounce. that's if you cant eliminate the said problem. it's a problem i have at the MA store. they cant switch the lights off at request, so i have to find the angles where reflections are not so dominant i the image.

i'll echo Clive regards composition. usually, again IME anything that's close to the surface does not always make a good subject.

W/B looks pretty good.

shooting down towards the tank eliminates depth. get on level terms with the tank.
 

AdAndrews

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22 Feb 2009
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Location
Kidderminster, Worcs
sorry to butt in, but what about editing programs, i have a fairly cheap camera, but still i have set it to the best settings and can take fairly good pictures, but dont you edit your pics(saintly) and "sharpen" them, is there a cheap way to do this?

and also, every time you take a picture of a tank should the equipment be off? or is the water movement from the filter good?

thanks
 

Mark Evans

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newark notts.
AdAndrews said:
but dont you edit your pics(saintly) and "sharpen" them, is there a cheap way to do this?

i apply minimal sharpening.

i think you can get PS in a real cut down...elements?.....i think which should give the basic tools good enough for correcting most images.

AdAndrews said:
every time you take a picture of a tank should the equipment be off? or is the water movement from the filter good?

final images, take everything out. but just for the purpose of showing updates leave the stuff in and it doesn't matter if it's running or not. get the old hair-dryer out or raise the outlet to just break the surface a little to get a pleasing ripple effect.
 

AdAndrews

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good old hairdryer eh :lol:

thanks mark, i will have a look for photoshop, maybe i can bug my dad for it

EDIT: good news! i just asked my dad and he said he has it at work, so i will just have to install it on my computer :D
 

Mark Evans

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newark notts.
here's a tip. i told this to steve i remember.

i noticed a while ago, before lights on, stems or rather there crowns follow the light effectively. even natural day light. a few ours before lights on all the crowns were facing forward. when the lights came on all the stems were facing forward, for about 20 minutes

you could try to replicate this using incandescent light before lights on and a big shoot ;)
 

andyh

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saintly said:
skinz180189 said:
and get as close as possible to the tank to reduce/avoid any reflections.

IME reflections arent due to the closeness. it's all about angles. or rather what bright lights/windows/TV's and there placement in the room.

imagine the whole scene...tank/you/ TV as a triangle. use common sense to gauge where the light will bounce. that's if you cant eliminate the said problem. it's a problem i have at the MA store. they cant switch the lights off at request, so i have to find the angles where reflections are not so dominant i the image.

i'll echo Clive regards composition. usually, again IME anything that's close to the surface does not always make a good subject.

W/B looks pretty good.

shooting down towards the tank eliminates depth. get on level terms with the tank.

I can see i need to spend more time preparing rather than just pulling the camera out and snapping away.

Will have a play over the weekend.
 

Simon D

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22 Sep 2008
Messages
460
Location
Leicestershire
andyh said:
I can see i need to spend more time preparing rather than just pulling the camera out and snapping away.

Will have a play over the weekend.

So a couple of weekends later, what's the result??
 

Sye Davies

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Joined
13 Aug 2008
Messages
47
ps will muller your storage..........elements is not so bad.

in my humble opinion i really wouldnt worry about filter pipes and all that malarky.

although very very relevent if you were entering a competition i would just say keep clicking until the memory card is full................................expect to bin 99% of the pics you have taken................then keep taking more :D

im no expert but that really is the best way to learn in my very humble opinion.

my shop is opposite a photography studio and i constantly annoy the bloke for hints and tips........................everytime he says to me....."just keep taking pics and having fun...expect to bin loads".........he's right too :thumbup:
 

andyh

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Derby
Simon D said:
andyh said:
I can see i need to spend more time preparing rather than just pulling the camera out and snapping away.

Will have a play over the weekend.

So a couple of weekends later, what's the result??

Still tinkering!! Will post some pictures shortly. I have to produce something good or i will never here the end of it! :oops:
 
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