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Photography and related stuff

Discussion in 'Hobbies' started by ericmark, 25 Sep 2013.

  1. ericmark

    ericmark

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    I love my camera and likely it has saved me not due to taking pictures but the walking I did to take pictures plus bike rides reduced my weight by a very marked level.

    May seem odd since dog owners likely also lose weight taking their dog for a walk but I hate seeing dogs on the same walk. Yes he may only be friendly but knocking my camera over or licking my lens is not what I consider doing no harm.

    They also chase away wild life but not dogs fault as if one goes through Chester Park dogs don't chase the wild life and behave A1 and squirrels come right up to your feet. But that's not the case in the local County Park so it's not the dogs it's their owners and I should not really blame the dog.

    I like the challenge and I have a local private woodland which I visit with total dog ban where the owner wants pictures to show off his ideas. The request to take a picture of a dark, small, fast moving or other hard subject to photograph with loads of time to work out how suits me.

    I always take in RAW and everything has to go through photoshop or similar and I have tried many ideas from Panorama to HDR normally going OTT then once learnt doing just the odd one or two.

    In the digital age printing becomes expensive and I tend to display in digital format as well as take as digital so web site design is all part of the same hobby.

    I was looking at some old photos late 1950's early 1960's and note my dad took some HDR even back then so very little has changed this page on early caravanning shows my families very early attempts then leads to my holiday. Link is more to show method of presentation than show of my photos and I hope it will spark a response.
     
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  3. Conspiracy

    Conspiracy

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    I'm a photography enthusiast too, although I barely have time to take good photos anymore. Combining photography with bike riding can be very healthy, and I see that's what you experienced.

    Where can I see some of your photos?

    Thanks for the link, I love old photographs
     
  4. ericmark

    ericmark

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    I have three web sites. When I changed ISP I expected the talktalk site to vanish but http://www.ericmark.talktalk.net/Chester-River-Canal-Walk.html seems still to be active.

    I tried http://gw7mgw.freeiz.com/ as a free non ISP linked site and it does work but sometimes it becomes very slow so I looked for another.

    http://gw7mgw.co.nf/index.html seems at first better but that again as some times of the day becomes slow.

    http://gw7mgw.minus.com/ is a photo site and will even allow RAW files to be uploaded but there is no presentation it is just a list of photos since my original space with talktalk was so low I was using this site to store pictures shown on talktalk web pages.

    The storing of pictures on a different site to the page showing the pictures is a problem when using automatic software. In the main the software decrees where the pictures must be.

    It was this problem which prompted me to start learning Java script and Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) however early attempts were flawed. In the early days I struggled to get pictures and text to change together and I started writing multi-pages with auto changing page to page but the user had little control.

    Next was giving the user the option to start a slide show or presentation but found the Java Script used would not work with IE although most other it worked well with. I use fire fox as it has best colour of all the browsers.

    Tried using flash which was a lot of work but good then found Apple has fell out with flash so will not work on Apple machines so that means it will not work with Iphones. Result removed all flash from pages.

    Since IE is about the worse browser of the lot I normally test pages using IE if it works with that likely it will work with all.

    I have an array of Cameras the Pentax K10D was my main stay but slowly moving to using the Nikon D7000 the latter only has one lens but 18 - 270 mm is a fair range. The standard 18 - 55 mm on the Pentax is automatic but rest are manual the 400 mm being a pre-set lens.

    About to start using a cheaper 6 mp compact as easy to carry with x3 optical zoom.

    Comparing the Pentax and Nikon pictures the Nikon is far crisper and I seem to be able to recover better from RAW with Nikon and Pentax when using fill light. Move the slider more than 1/4 way with Pentax and I start to get an edge showing but not got same problem with Nikon however could be the Tamron lens which is far better than the Pentax should be it cost a lot more. But could also be sensor so next is some experiments to see if using different lens on Pentax alters the problem.
     
  5. ladylola

    ladylola

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    I like the b&w shots on there , takes me back to all the old pictures that were round my parents house.
    I use a Pentax as well having a K30 with the blue body, not that the colour makes it take any better piccys but we like it. I originally went with a Pentax rather than a Nikon because of the ease that M42 lenses can be fitted. The Nikon of course needs a glassed adapter. I used to , well still do , like my East German and Russian cameras and will still on occasion run a film through one, but This means I have several screw mount lenses that I wasn't prepared to chuck just to buy new. The only modern lens I have is the 18-55 mm on the pentax but this is very often left in the bag and the camera sports a flek , or commonly a 28mm tokina in K mount.
    Of course I can mount Nikon lenses on the Pentax although I wouldn't try it with a heavy lens but unfortunately I can't properly mount my Praktica B lenses on the Pentax which is a shame as I love the 20mm. The Pentacon 50mm 1.8 gives a lovely rendering but I do also have it in screw mount.
    I suppose I should have gone with a Canon but I just find then too "pretentious"or "arrogant" if that makes the slightest bit of sense and I've just never gotten along with them.
    Here's a site I like although I haven't posted there for some time-
    http://forum.manualfocus.org
     
  6. ericmark

    ericmark

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    Interesting I do have a camera which was bought by my son in Russia (Praktica) when he went on a school trip, also a Canon A1 with assorted lenses and an Olympus Trip but I have only run film through the Ricoh and that was many years ago. I even have a German half plate camera my dad bought for 6d just after the war and I tested the lens by putting the Pentax behind it so I have taken a couple of images although not using film.

    I have a f2, 28mm lens I got for the Ricoh but since covered with the lens which came with camera not really used. The 95 - 210mm bought off ebay for £35 I use a lot manual focus and the aperture is a problem as unless used wide open or I use the exposure compensator although the camera closes the aperture it does not match it with auto settings. I also use it reversed to do close up but if I stop down I get a light spot in the centre.

    The bellows for close up are a little wobbly and with the 400mm I use two tripods to steady it however some good results of bees being far enough away so they still settle on the flower about 3 foot away selecting a flower then waiting for bee rather than running after them around the garden.

    I have some close up filters for the Pentax lens and they do work well but lighting is a problem as lens blocks out some of the light from flash. However using one camera mounted and a slave flash stuck under the camera I have had some good shots but a lot of work setting up.

    I love close up and macro but realised a picture of a lump of moss means nothing on its own one needs a coin or something to give scale and also an over view so one can see where it was found. This is why I spent time designing a web page with multi pictures on one page.

    The guy I was doing the work for used "one & one" and paid for the site but I used free sites and they can be painfully slow at times. This http://gw7mgw.freeiz.com/pictures/atmcc/IMGP6723.jpg picture of a pocket watch face was part of this page but the site takes so long to load it is near unusable.

    The other site I tried hear showing holiday snaps is slightly better but it's still slow and I really don't know it it's worth all the effort writing the page when it takes so long to load?

    I am also wondering about the lugging of an D-SLR around with me and if I would be better using a compact which I can carry on bike in my pocket.
     
  7. CharleyH

    CharleyH

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    ericmark, Could it be to do with the size of the image? It's pretty large so it could be slowing things up. I've been with http://website.1and1.co.uk/how-to-build-a-website for a couple of months and haven't had any major issues.

    (Also, as a fan of time pieces, that picture is great!)
     
  8. ericmark

    ericmark

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    I friend uses 1&1 and would agree seems very good. Mine however is a free site.

    Most photos reduced to maximum of 1400 x 1050 pixels as that is the size my camera club and it would seem many others to project with there projector and also about full screen with a HD TV.

    Did try reducing further but ended up with many pictures from same RAW file with different pixel size had wondered about reduced quality with Jpeg but PNG seems to be getting more popular which are smaller than jpeg at full quality.
     
  9. CharleyH

    CharleyH

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    Ah okay, in that case you' re not going to get it any further down without causing problems.

    Still, great stuff on your site!
     
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  11. ericmark

    ericmark

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    It took a lot of time to hone page to do what I wanted. First attempt the writing and pictures went out of sinc. Then I have button to start presentation then reversed and had button to stop presentation it slowly evolved.

    However I am no longer doing the official woodland site so really needs all re-doing. What I was doing with my site was testing pages for main site specially as different monitor sizes give different results.
     
  12. ericmark

    ericmark

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    I have been taking RAW files now for a good few years and to me 12 or 14 bit files must be better than 8 bit but once taken what then.

    Both my cameras will in camera convert RAW to Jpeg and one can produce multi Jpeg files from the single RAW files and combine them to show the features required.

    However in the main we all use a computer based converter and most offer unique features to the rest and when I tried to write a report on why I used RAW and how I converted I found hard to explain in general terms. The whole dynamic range and colour temperature range are stored in the RAW file and when converting we need to take care not to loose wanted data.

    With for example Adobe Camera RAW 6.5 we can use a graduated filter or an adjustment brush to selectively darken or lighten the image. Using the target tool we can use a very intuitive tool to colour correct.

    However RawTherepee offers a different set of tools including making a 16 bit tiff file and Tone Mapping.

    In Lightroom we have a history so we can return if we don't lake the changes made.

    Even within Adobe the methods change with CS4 to set curves between 16 bit and 8 bit we selected Mode and a window allowed us to select the options. This has gone with CS5 and we have to select HDR toning to do the same thing.

    Be it multi Jpegs and select blending mode or masks and apply or nearly all options done within the RAW program there are so many ways to achieve the same result.

    With software from Gimp, Paint Shop Pro, Picturenaut, Main Photoshop, Elements and Light room all being used by club members it becomes a problem to write anything which will work with all.

    The tendency is for the better guys to use Adobe products so the beginner is left trying to sort it all out for himself or paying out a lot for software. Ideas please.
     
  13. youngroughcaster

    youngroughcaster

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    Hi, im no photographer but im going to be getting a new camera to make an album of all the birds is spot! Im goin to print the pictures then wrtie the date spotted etc. Any of you done this before? :)
     
  14. ericmark

    ericmark

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    Some nesting birds need permits to take photos. As to notes much depends on the camera. Some have satnav built in and put the cameras location and direction on the meta data but mine only record time, date, and camera settings.

    PhotoME allows you to modify the META DATA and read it.

    If you start by looking at what is auto recorded then you will know what needs to be manually noted.

    My 50 mm, 95 - 210 mm, and 400 mm do not electronic link to camera when I fit the lens the camera prompts me for the lens length.

    But having the camera date and time set correct really helps as then all you need to do is not time and event and after by the time you can match photo to the event.

    Programs like light room are very good at cataloguing your pictures. But Bridge which comes with Photoshop is not as good. I find it is better to add to the camera assigned number rather than replace it so you keep pictures in order.

    Once printed you lose the META DATA so writing on the image number does help. However I made the mistake of writing on photos only to find over time the writing on one photo transferred to the next one so got in the habit of stacking face to face and back to back but not as easy to go through like that.

    I will reduce picture size to monitor or projectors pixels otherwise any slide show takes ages. Keeping the same number allows one to find the original picture.

    Since I always take in RAW my original will have name.PEF or name.NEF but reduced picture will have name.JPG so I can't over write a large picture with a small one. If not using RAW you need to archive the original JPG.

    I always keep my original RAW file. Just this week I got a copy of Photomatix Essentials 4 which means I can improve many of my pictures as long as I have the RAW file. The digital RAW file is like the analogue negative.

    Printing is a problem as each picture can require different paper to best show it off. It is often a leap of faith when using print houses as to what the quality will be like. But to home print high quality needs a high quality printer often with large ink cartridges which can cost £90 each and have a live of just 6 months. With 7 cartridges that's £1280 per year even if you don't print a single image. With paper costs it will cost well over that so the good quality printers are really only worth while for the professional photographer. Even with low quality printers likely cheaper going to the supermarket rather than printing yourself.

    But set your pictures to 301 dots per inch (the standard size) and size to fit picture and the good quality printer will orientate these to use least amount of paper but go to Asda and their printer takes no notice of the size set and dots per inch and all photos will be cropped to fit. If they gave white space it would be OK but they don't they just crop.

    The print houses do a better job http://dscolourlabs.co.uk/ is used by many from our club but then you have the postage cost so need to print a lot together.

    Of course you will not see any of the prints until it's too late and the last thing you want is 200 over blue prints.

    So step one is to calibrate your computer screen. Our camera club has a calibrator which we borrow to set our computer screens so what we see is what we get.

    I have a cheap colour printer which will do a reasonable job to show friends and family but to mount and exhibit one is looking at A3 at least and at that size any faults really show up.

    With my 400mm f6.8 pre-set lens which is 600mm with my sensor size hand holding is not easy. Move to a better quality say f5.6 and even harder. Really needs a tripod and to follow birds in flight it needs to be a good tripod. My lens cost me £35 in 1980 but to get a lens which has all the electronics connected to camera to auto focus etc then looking at a £2000 likely 4 times the cost of the camera.

    The bird photographer is a special breed I just attended a lecture and he said how he got photos of a bird 10 years ago and was not satisfied and has spent the following 9 years at the right week sitting in a hide trying to better the original pictures without getting any sightings.

    I spent 5 days around 6 hours a day trying to get pictures of a wood pecker on the nest and that's a common bird and the pictures were criticised as not being sharp enough I got just 13 points out of 20 in a beginners competition.

    The problem is people spend a lot of money on their lens and people like me with a cheap lens just don't stand a chance.
     
  15. Jess25

    Jess25

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    My friend likes photography so much. I adore her works. Look like from magazines or like have been just bought from the exhibition
     
  16. ericmark

    ericmark

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    I have started using some new software. Photomatix Essentials 4 which came free with a Photo Mag.

    It has changed my attitude to local tone mapping and semi-automatic software. I had used DxO Optics Pro 7 in the past which is automatic software and although good results I prefer to retain total control. It was marginally better then the software built into the camera.

    But the Photomatix Essentials 4 offers an array of thumb nails and you select the one you want. Some of the results had a colour cast and I then had to correct that but there was no need to go OTT to get a good result.

    The software is designed for HDR and the problem with a high range is the result looks rather wishy washy. Our eyes scan the landscape continually adjusting for varying light but the camera does not have that option. Before I realised the problem and would process twice once for foreground and once for distant sky and then blend together again using layers and masks. But looking for ghosts and correction was time consuming.

    As with the days of film I want to process myself. With film that meant black and white as my darkroom could not handle colour. Today so much less equipment is required. One can even convert in camera from RAW (digital equivalent to the negative) to Jpeg some like the Polaroid camera with film and the compact with digital do it all for you in camera.

    The processing houses would batch process and I also tend to at first attempt to batch process then select the specials for more work. Be it old monochrome film or modern digital we still call the tools by the same names. Dodge and Burn. Nothing has really changed in what we can do but it has just become easier.
     
  17. youngroughcaster

    youngroughcaster

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    I love my camera have a Nikon and it takes good photos image.jpg image.jpg image.jpg
     

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