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Improving One's Photography

This is a discussion on Improving One's Photography within the General photography forums, part of the Photography & Fine art photography category; I have been trying different things to improve my photography, including using the manual settings and raw/nef programs as much ...

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    Default Improving One's Photography

    I have been trying different things to improve my photography, including using the manual settings and raw/nef programs as much as possible. Another thing I have been working on is shooting with both eyes open. That is the hardest for me. It is a bit like looking at those magic pictures that pop 3D when you relax your eyes but actually find it easiest when using the telephoto lens.

    The one area (well there is more then one but I don't know it yet ) that I am not sure of in my raw is whether I should be setting my white balance while shooting or do that in post? Should I do a manual white balance in a controlled situation? I have mostly been letting the camera do its thing at this point and just do a custom white balance in post if needed.

    Any other suggestions as well are welcome.

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    tirediron is offline Senior Member
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    I'm a staunch advocate of getting as much right in the camera as you can. Even a slight change in WB can give an image a very different appearance. While the built-in functions of most cameras do a decent job of estimating WB, a calibrated WB is always best. I've been using an Expodisc for about four months now, and while a little pricey, I find it's very convenient, and the results are excellent.

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    mindforge is offline Senior Member
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    Get a film camera and shoot a roll a week. Just get an older SLR with a 35mm lens or whatever. I shoot film with a few lomos, a film pentax 35mm and a pinhole camera. They begin to tone the artist and make you see new ways when you get the film developed.

    I have a bag that I take in the home but I leave in my car most the time. I take it inside when it is really hot or cold out. Otherwise, it stays in the car. It has my Pentax with a 35mm lens (I don't even know what kind it is, got it used in great condition for like $70). The bag also has a lomo in it. Total the bag probably doesn't have more than $150 in value in it.

    It is very valuable when I go somewhere though. Sometimes I just decide that I'll take my camera and walk around a block connected to Main Street and an alley and take pics until I am out of one roll. I think shooting film helps you to stop and pay much more attention to what you are doing when you work digitally.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tirediron View Post
    I'm a staunch advocate of getting as much right in the camera as you can. Even a slight change in WB can give an image a very different appearance. While the built-in functions of most cameras do a decent job of estimating WB, a calibrated WB is always best. I've been using an Expodisc for about four months now, and while a little pricey, I find it's very convenient, and the results are excellent.
    I agree. Get as much done in camera and your life will be easier. I too use auto white balance most often. Most notably when i shoot in the day or use flash which is the vast majority of the time. When my predominant light source is OTHER than daylight, I set the white balance to that light source.

    I have not used the Expodisc T.I. but have heard very good things about it. Have you done any side by side tests with and without it T.I. ? I'd love to see some comparison shots if you have. Also care to describe how to use it for those that may not know?

    many thanks!
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    I always set my white balance to a white object when indoors and never use the tungsten or fluorescent presets. It is the first thing I do before shooting pictures. There is one thing that annoys me the most, thats when a picture is taken and when it comes time to review it, its blue! Thats just not cool. Unless Im in plain daylight(daylight) or in deep shade(shade) then the white balance on my camera is manually set.
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/28054853@N08/


    Photography is more than just taking a picture and freezing the action, or leaving the shutter open. It is more than orchestrating the image with the stroke of a brush. Its the realization and explanation that reality is an isolated experience in which only a specific individual can comprehend during any given time period. - Your Truly!

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    tirediron is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by marko View Post
    I have not used the Expodisc T.I. but have heard very good things about it. Have you done any side by side tests with and without it T.I. ? I'd love to see some comparison shots if you have. Also care to describe how to use it for those that may not know?

    many thanks!
    Marko
    Yeah, the side-by-side comparison is on my list of things to do (along with a bathroom renovation, repairs to my truck, a couple of weddings to shoot... ) Anyway, as to use: The Expodisc is essentially a translucent white filter which attachs to your lens via a friction fit vice convential threads (because it only needs to be there for a moment) and is calibrated to produce a known WB.

    Use is very simple: Attach the Expodisc to your lens, and then set your camera to record a custom WB, remove it and you're done. It's important to remember that you have to record a new custom WB for changes in light/colour temperature. With it in place, your camera will also function as an incident meter (though I've found this rather too clumsy to be practical).

    My overall impression has been very good, but there are some downsides; (at least with Nikon). It's often difficult to record a custom WB in low light, and if you're in a subtling changing environment, say a bright day where you have a slowly encroaching overcast, it's easy to forget to update the WB, resulting in an off tone.

    Aside from those minor niggles however, and the price ($130 in 77mm) it's an excellent piece of gear, and worth the steep price.

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    Barefoot's 'Doris Jean' photo just reminded me of something I do to improve.

    If I see a photo online that I'd realy like to be to take myself I save that photo into a folder called 'Photos to do'
    Then I slowly delete the photos from that folder as I manage to satisfactorily achieve similar photos of my own. It helps to push me and keep me focused.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mad Aussie View Post
    Barefoot's 'Doris Jean' photo just reminded me of something I do to improve.

    If I see a photo online that I'd realy like to be to take myself I save that photo into a folder called 'Photos to do'
    Then I slowly delete the photos from that folder as I manage to satisfactorily achieve similar photos of my own. It helps to push me and keep me focused.
    Ditto! I usually do this in my head though.
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/28054853@N08/


    Photography is more than just taking a picture and freezing the action, or leaving the shutter open. It is more than orchestrating the image with the stroke of a brush. Its the realization and explanation that reality is an isolated experience in which only a specific individual can comprehend during any given time period. - Your Truly!

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    GregL is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mad Aussie View Post
    ....If I see a photo online that I'd realy like to be to take myself I save that photo into a folder called 'Photos to do'
    Then I slowly delete the photos from that folder as I manage to satisfactorily achieve similar photos of my own. It helps to push me and keep me focused.
    That sounds like a great idea... I'll just put it into my Photos to do folder and give it ago. Sounds like a good exercise to help me improve.

    Always looking for feedback
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    Quote Originally Posted by jjeling View Post
    Ditto! I usually do this in my head though.
    Gigabytes of room in there I'm sure!

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