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mannym

Where were these pictures taken?

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While laid off, I decided to take my camera out and practice long exposure water pics. 

My set up is an older Sony Nex-5 with an FD adapter to use with my old Canon manual focus lenses. 

Based on the pictures I see here, we have several photography experts.

I welcome all feedback from those who can help me refine my photography skills. 

 

Edit: The title changed. I decided to post multiple pics. 

 

 

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I like the shots. I am no photographer, so I cannot help you refine a thing. My photos are taken with a point and shoot set on smiley face :). I am quite familiar with the areas photographed, however  I will leave that part up to other members to answer also.

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Not sure as to where they were taken but I can tell you where a couple of those are going. ..... My computer desktop.  Well done

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The Hennepin Canal is correct. The others though,  are not from SR. But you were close Siusaluki. They are actually from Matthiessen State Park, Dells area. I am fortunate to live two miles south of this park. 

 

Rob G, Thanks for the compliment. 

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Lucky you!  When I am back home visiting family around Monmouth, that is the area I typically drive to if my brother's and I are going to do any smallmouth fishing.  Thanks for the photos!  That area is a very unique portion of Illinois.

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I did not shoot raw. But the only editing I did was on the Canal shot using Gimp. I do use ND filters to get the exposure time I needed to shoot these during the day. I almost always use a Polarized lens and or UV filter. 

Should I always shoot raw? Also, what editing software do you recommend? 

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3 hours ago, mannym said:

I did not shoot raw. But the only editing I did was on the Canal shot using Gimp. I do use ND filters to get the exposure time I needed to shoot these during the day. I almost always use a Polarized lens and or UV filter. 

Should I always shoot raw? Also, what editing software do you recommend? 

I shoot RAW always and yes, I think you should too. If your Sony has the same 16mp sensor my Nikon D7000 does, you will unlock it's potential of capturing dynamic range.

rarely will your camera capture what the human eye sees in terms of color and dynamic range.  Shooting RAW and really working on post processing will improve you photos. 

I edit in Lightroom Classic/Photoshop $9.99 a month thing.  A bargain in my opinion.

I have never walked away from Mathieson or Starved Rock with a composition I was happy with.  You would think it would be a piece of cake.  Part of it is I only have an 18mm as my widest lens.  On a crop sensor camera that's a 35mm perspective of 27mm and that's not really that wide for shooting canyons.  But still it's hard to shoot anything there that doesn't look static and boring.

So, what I learned about this type of photography is that you want the sharp portions of the image to be UBER sharp.  That's what makes these type of moving water shots pop, when that sharpness stands out against the soft water. That's hard to achieve in low lighting because the contrast is so low and that is part of what gives you sharpness.. This will sound counter intuitive, but you don't want to shoot these in low light conditions.  To make matters worse, if you stop all the way down to your tiniest aperture, diffraction will rear it's ugly head and kill sharpness.

yes, you can spot sharpen, improve saturation, contrast etc in post.  But better if you capture as much as possible in the image.

So that would be why ND filters are important.  polarizers only chop off 2 stops.

Lastly in long exposures any kind of wind is going to make vegetation look soft.  The way around that it to not shoot in wind.  Or you can shoot one exposure with a slow shutterspeed one with a fast, stack them in photoshop then using masks erase the portion with the undesired movement to reveal the image with the fast- (therefore sharp) shutterspeed.

I have not tried this yet, but this really looks promising.  So you shoot a number of exposures at normal shutter speeds, then stack and blend them in photo shop. 

I did not watch this tutorial, but I think this is the general gist.  There maybe better tutorials.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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 If I recall, my camera can output both JPEG and Raw at the same time. I will have to see if I had it set that way. If so, I will try Lightroom and see if I can spiffy up these photos a bit. I also need to buy a few more lenses. A better wide angle being the first purchase. 

 

Thank you Mark. 

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2 hours ago, mannym said:

 If I recall, my camera can output both JPEG and Raw at the same time. I will have to see if I had it set that way. If so, I will try Lightroom and see if I can spiffy up these photos a bit. I also need to buy a few more lenses. A better wide angle being the first purchase. 

 

Thank you Mark. 

Manny the monitor I have at work is dark.  They look better on my home monitor and they look good on my phone.  

I think the shadows are too deep in the canyon shots for my taste.  That's hard to get right in camera.  I would spot sharpen certain areas too. 

#3 I like the leaves in the foreground.  I think that is effective and makes shots interesting.  Especially if you use a  wide angle where you can move up close and because the depth of field is much deeper, so stuff in the background will still be in focus. Personally I find this part pretty challenging.When I was looking at your shots on my work monitor it almost looked like were done in the evening.  So take that low light comment with a grain of salt.  So here is a tutorial by a really great wildlife and landscape photographer, I follow his stuff on you tube and it's really improved my stuff.  Personally I think he is one of best around and a good teacher.  I bough some of his e-books.  Steve Perry (not the singer from Journey) of Backcountry Gallery.

Regarding his comments on low light, just make sure you have enough light to pull shadows out of detail without too much noise.  One thing that polarizers do really well is cut the glare off vegetation- which there is a lot of.  It makes for deep saturated shots and I like that.  

Too his comments if you are shooting harsh lighting it's going to be hard not to blow highlights- like skies.

I highly recommend his videos.  Though he works mostly in Photoshop, not LR. 

https://backcountrygallery.com/waterfall-photography-in-eight-easy-steps/

LR is different than Photoshop.  It started out as an organizing program with basic editing features for RAW files.  A lot of photographers just did all their editing there and so Adobe refined it over the years to this really powerful editing tool. I used to shoot RAW +jPEG then I stopped with the jpeg because I got so fast at processing in LR it was not worth it.  Once you start editing in RAW, and try to go back to jpeg you will see just how much data is missing.

The other great thing about LR is it's totally non destructive to that original RAW file.  You can always go back to the original.

A guy on You Tube named Anthony Morganti to me has the best tutorials on LR.

Before you jump on the LR bandwagon, there is another program I got a trial version of called "Luminar", it was like a version of lightroom minus the organizational tools, which to be honest, I don't use as I should.  I downloaded a trial version but really never worked with it enough, but what I saw I really liked.  and it's non destructive.  They havea  PC version now if that;'s the way you roll.

 

 

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Just to comment also.  I love post processing.  I look at going out shooting pictures as gathering pixels.  From what I have seen, the processor in the camera rarely capture scenes the way the human sees it, at least not my eye.  I felt the same way about shooting film and I essentially lost interest in photography once I lost access to a  darkroom.

I heard people call post processing "cheating" I think that is absurd. A camera processes a raw data in body the same way you would on a computer.  In fact you can change the way it does it in the shooting menue by using "standard" "vivid" "landscape" portrait" or even "Black and White".  Its just some engineers' algorythm applying some extra schmooz to the jpeg.  Exactly what you can do in post. 

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Funny you mention the "cheating'. I was told by a guy I work with that I cheated on the canal picture. 

I brought the SD card to work today. I am going to see what I can do with Lightroom today. Most scenes have at least 10 photos with different settings. Should be fun. 

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