Author Topic: First Picture  (Read 416 times)

Paul.S

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First Picture
« on: January 07, 2018, 19:58:40 »
Just registered and first post. Know little about this craft and nothing about processing. So I am diving in with a picture taken today at my sons basketball game. I have a Nikon D200 with a 35mm lens. These were given to me and I know they are obsolete. If I can get decent with practice, I will buy a more current camera. In the mean time, it is nice to have friends willing to dump their old gear. This was my first attempt at using this camera as I got it yesterday. I was also given a copy of LR 4 which I loaded the pictures to. I am quite sure there are all kids of things not set up properly in addition to the lens being a bit short. I cropped this picture and converted to BW. My main question is where do I start in terms of evaluating and adjusting a picture? Thank you and I hope to learn a lot by posting when I can.


Jack Dahlgren

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Re: First Picture
« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2018, 20:27:05 »
Evaluating is in the eye of the beholder.

You train your eye with practice and reflection on what you have captured. Other people will see different things in your photos than you do, so feedback is helpful (mostly).

Photography is the capture of light. Finding exceptional light will help you reveal your subjects more fully. In your photograph you are starting in one of the worst environments, a basketball gym. This means your subject will come out rather flat, and you may notice that colors are off due to the lighting as well. You can’t really post process to add light where there is none, so move around the room and see if there is a better place to photograph from which may show the players in the light coming through the window.

One thing I have learned is that sometimes there are no good photographs to be taken. It can be better just to enjoy the game instead of capturing it. A couple of days back I took out my camera and loaded my pockets with lenses and headed out for a walk. I didn’t take any photographs.

If you are thoughtful and honest with yourself, and you practice with intent, you will certainly get better. It is hard to be self critical. It is also easy to be self critical. Have some patience along the way.

Seapy

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Re: First Picture
« Reply #2 on: January 07, 2018, 20:27:41 »
The D200 ain't obsolete, no more than I am, just because I'm not young anymore!    ;D

In processing you start with white and black points and colour temperature (white balance).

The white balance can he helped by checking the histogram on the screen immediately after making the exposure. If the data is all cramped to the left or right of the screen then you need to either increase or reduce your exposure.  If you got your best exposure then you MAY be able to improve it by adjusting the black and white points in Lightroom.  Hold down your option key, (not sure about Windows command) then adjust the white or black sliders until the black screen only has little white specks and the white screen until there are just a few black specks.  Sometimes these settings need re adjusting without the option key held to get the 'feel' you are looking for.  By recording the exposure an an NEF  you will have a greater range of adjustment.

For the colour temperature click the white balance eye dropper on what you think should be a neutral grey or black part of the image, sometimes there isn't one, you have to get it as near as you can then adjust the blue-yellow slider to taste, and perhaps a tad of green-magenta adjustment if it needs it.

That's a very quick first step to adjusting any image.

Your photo looks a little grey, I suspect it needs the black and white points setting.  The histogram is your best friend.

If you want to do much black and white pictures then suggest you try NIK Filters, they are or were free for now.  They give a nice range of adjustments to choose from presets.
Robert C. P.
South Cumbria, UK

Paul.S

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Re: First Picture
« Reply #3 on: January 07, 2018, 20:59:33 »
I am not sure what flat means in photographic terms but I was not happy with the color version. It does look grey. As you mention Jack, the lighting was difficult. The gym is very small and I could only sit on the side with the large windows opposite combined with fluorescent lighting above. There are a lot of sliders in LR4 so figuring which to mess with I guess is a trial and error process. For years I have been the head coach for all my kids and this year I am happy to be on the sidelines as a spectator. I was, however, anxious to try out the camera.

Paul

Frank Fremerey

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Re: First Picture
« Reply #4 on: January 07, 2018, 21:22:33 »
In your example main point is to understand the game and know the right moment which you obviously do

Jack Dahlgren

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Re: First Picture
« Reply #5 on: January 07, 2018, 21:43:11 »
Flat means there is little contrast. You can increase contrast in processing, but only if there is some amount of it present when you took the photo. Converting to black and white can create some contrast if there is a good amount of color difference as you can darken one color and brighten another.

You can adjust contrast using sliders, but I find you have more control using tone curves which allow you to control contrast along the entire tonal range. I often make an “S” shaped curve to separate middle tones more clearly. The steeper the curve the more separation you get, the flatter the curve the less separation you get. Sometimes the opposite approach is required, particularly if there are many areas of the image which are dark.

Play around with it and you will soon see how it works.

The more extreme your modifications, the more likely you are to have strange things start to show up in your images. Sometimes this can be useful, but it is less faithful to the subject.

A well exposed image will be much easier to work with.

As Frank points out, knowing your subject is of primary importance. Perfect exposures of uninteresting subjects are still uninteresting.


armando_m

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Re: First Picture
« Reply #6 on: January 08, 2018, 00:08:42 »
I wish I could take an image like that when I was starting

Great timing
I would probably try to stand on the other side and take advantage of the window light

LR sliders are supposed to be used in order from top to bottom, processing takes some time and practice, just like it does to learn how to use the camera, how to "see" , etc

I think you are off with a great start
Armando Morales
D800, Nikon 1 V1

Paul.S

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Re: First Picture
« Reply #7 on: January 08, 2018, 02:27:15 »
Armando, I did try and get to the other side of the court but I was not permitted to do so. I know the game well as I have coached for many years but having a camera in hand for the first time observing is an entirely different perspective.....The 35mm seemed very limiting but all I have at this time. Fortunately, I have a few colleagues who buy and sell camera gear all the time. Seems they do more of that than actual photography so I may be able to benefit by adding a lens or two to give me some flexibility. Thanks for the help and comments.


Seapy

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Re: First Picture
« Reply #8 on: January 08, 2018, 06:41:29 »
Paul, perhaps 50mm f1.4 might fit the needs here, probably the cheapest/fastest lens which can be also a little tricky because the depth of focus, the 'in focus' area can reduce drastically atwitter apertures.  That can be used to advantage to focus on the action, but needs getting used to.

A zoom would be handy for framing but most cheap zooms are slow, or dim so in poor lighting are pretty useless, flash not usually allowed for indoor sports.
Robert C. P.
South Cumbria, UK

pluton

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Re: First Picture
« Reply #9 on: January 09, 2018, 22:57:31 »
I noticed you didn't tell if you have set the camera to record raw files or JPEG files.  I suggest that, at first, you record both simultaneously, and then play around to see the degree of adjustability of each.  JPEG files are relatively small (megabyte-wise) which makes them fast to transmit and take up less space on your computer's storage, but you will find that the raw files have a tremendous amount more adjustability in the Lightroom Develop module:  overall brightness(which LR calls 'Exposure'), lightening the shadows, darkening the highlights, increasing or decreasing the contrast, etc. Color adjustments are also more flexible with raw files.
May I reinforce Armando's observation that the control sliders in the Lightroom "Develop" panel are specifically set up for the user to work from the top to the bottom; in other words, the most important controls to use first (generally speaking...allow for exceptions) are first in line from top to bottom.
The D200 user manual can be downloaded here if you need it:http://download.nikonimglib.com/archive2/wA0rL00RpGgd01x3Hi344FzbGJ59/D200_NT(En)05.pdf
Keith B., Santa Monica, CA, USA

RobOK

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Re: First Picture
« Reply #10 on: January 09, 2018, 23:09:13 »
You'll find a helpful group here, so keep posting examples.

A small pointer from me. Your crop is almost square but not square. Either make it exactly square or keep it more rectangular, with this shot maybe portrait orientation.

To make Armando's point another way, you were shooting into the big windows. It will be hard to get a good exposure of the shooter with that. So even if you can't get all the way to the other side, try not to have the big windows in the frame.

Also, indoor gyms are notoriously hard light to shoot in!

Paul.S

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Re: First Picture
« Reply #11 on: January 10, 2018, 04:18:07 »
Thanks everyone for all the helpful comments. This is FUN. Unfortunately, my time with a camera in hand is limited to an opportunity or two on some weekends. However, I will play with the sliders in LR4 (top to bottom) and try and get a better feel for the program.

That particular gym is small and we are not allowed at either end of the basket or the other side (window side). Square or rectangular...interesting as that would never have crossed my mind. It will now.

I did have the camera set to JPEG Fine and NEF. Sheer luck as that was the way it was set when I received it. I will keep it there. Thanks for the links to the manual on the D200. Probably something I should read.

I will also look into more lens options for future flexibility.