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Author Topic: Critique please  (Read 7323 times)
Shirley Bracken
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« on: December 24, 2009, 07:21:57 AM »
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I have looked at this trying to decide if it is sharp in the best place.  This was taken before I read here that I should be shooting in RAW.  This one was not.  I'm just wondering if I'm kidding myself that anything is sharp enough.  I want to print this (4880 Epson).  I have Canon XTi IS.  18-55MM lens.  

I had to sit there a long time for the wake to slick out.  Any advice is welcome.  (unless you tell me not to quit my day job)
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bill t.
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« Reply #1 on: December 24, 2009, 11:59:33 AM »
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It's sharp enough for the image.  This one would work best small (probably).  The right framing treatment could make this image present itself very nicely.  I would remove the linty stuff in the water which would make it glass smooth and much prettier, but that's just me.

You need to get out and shoot and shoot and shoot.  Then shoot some more.  While this is an okay image, I'm sure that with a little practice you could soon quit that day job.
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Shirley Bracken
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« Reply #2 on: December 24, 2009, 12:15:44 PM »
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Thanks Bill.  Actually I shot almost 500 shots that day.  I got 6 excellent shots.  This is not one of the 6.  I have shot more than 40,000 shots in the last two years... all lost when my external backup fell over on my desk.  Of course I normally have it in my computer too but through some unfortunate circumstances, they were deleted.  I don't want to think about that, makes me want to throw up!  I lost allllllll 40,000.  

I did need to ask about scanning resolution.  I printed those 6 out on professional paper with my archival 4880 Epson.  So I have the photos, if I scan them, will I recover the original resolution?  And do different scanners have different resolutions???
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DarkPenguin
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« Reply #3 on: December 24, 2009, 12:27:26 PM »
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Quote from: Shirley Bracken
Thanks Bill.  Actually I shot almost 500 shots that day.  I got 6 excellent shots.  This is not one of the 6.  I have shot more than 40,000 shots in the last two years... all lost when my external backup fell over on my desk.  Of course I normally have it in my computer too but through some unfortunate circumstances, they were deleted.  I don't want to think about that, makes me want to throw up!  I lost allllllll 40,000.

Mozy.com
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Shirley Bracken
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« Reply #4 on: December 24, 2009, 12:33:34 PM »
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Thanks... sigh.
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ckimmerle
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« Reply #5 on: December 24, 2009, 04:24:01 PM »
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I think I get what you were trying to do with this photo, but am not sure it really works (at least for me).

It's a photo of what something is (in this case a lilly pad with water droplets), and nothing more. It just does not offer anything beyond that literal representation. For me, the truly interesting elements are the softness of the water droplets and the crispy, shriveled edges of the pad. If you had played those two against each other in a more graphic composition, that may have worked quite nicely.

Don't get me wrong, I don't think it's particularly bad photo, but I cannot admit to liking it much, either.

Chuck
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« Reply #6 on: December 24, 2009, 05:53:08 PM »
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Not a bad photo, but it doesn't really pull me into anything..... no emotional tone to get me thinking I guess. Can't quite place it.

Also you might want to take care of that dust spot in the upper left
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Shirley Bracken
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« Reply #7 on: December 24, 2009, 06:22:31 PM »
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Damn, you are a tough audience.  I'm thinkin' a series of maybe six of them in a grouping 8X10s.  I am just sick that I lost the others.  The creek and river are flooding right now so I can't get out just now.  I am very excited to continue this series.  Right now it's about crisp edges and resolution.  Stay tuned, I'm on a roll!

Thanks for the comments, I can do better!  

What about scanning the photos?  Will I get anywhere near the quality of the original (lost) photos?
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Eric Myrvaagnes
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« Reply #8 on: December 24, 2009, 08:48:47 PM »
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Quote from: Shirley Bracken
What about scanning the photos?  Will I get anywhere near the quality of the original (lost) photos?
It's worth a try, with a good flatbed scanner. I have been using my Epson 4990 scanner to scan darkroom prints (B&W only) from my film days, mainly for ones that I can't readily find the negatives for (blush, blush). It does a pretty good job and I've been able to make decent digital prints. So do give it a whirl.

And do keep on with the series. The lukewarm response you have gotten from this one should just fire you up to do better and prove these guys wrong.  


By the way, I rather like the lily pad, but I agree that it can be improved.

Eric

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« Reply #9 on: December 25, 2009, 12:01:44 AM »
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Hi Shirley:  Sorry to hear about your images.  I think this one has some potential in B&W.  I hope you don't mind my messing with it but I took a couple of minutes and pushed it around in Lightroom a bit to give you an idea.  I would suggest taking more time to clone out the 'fluff' - the white spots in the water.

Mike.

[attachment=18879:IMG_1780_2.jpg]
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Shirley Bracken
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« Reply #10 on: December 25, 2009, 05:43:21 AM »
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Eric, thank you.  Yes, I knew it was not a very special photo.  A rather ordinary shot.  I did not work it over at all.  That's straight out of the camera.  I sure don't need to be fired up, I stay that way, I'm very motivated when it comes to art.  I'm going to try scanning the others.  Improvement is why I'm here.  

Mike, thanks, I'm still reeling from the loss of my photos.  No, I don't mind a bit that you played with the photo.  I'm not sure I like it better in B&W but it does look more crisp and clean after your fix.  

I used to shoot with a Minolta SRT 101, I have thousands of negatives.  Some of them have stuck together.  Is there a solution I can soak them in to get them apart?  Or can I just soak them in water?  Or are they just dead?

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Shirley Bracken
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« Reply #11 on: December 25, 2009, 07:02:51 AM »
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Hi Chuck, I have been looking at this and thinking about what you said about the playing off of one another.  Did you mean to create more of an alternation effect between the nearest leaf edge and the larger water puddle?  I'm still learning the controls but I'm going to try getting a little more definition between them by deepening the crevices deep in the puddle.  That way I won't lose my light on the lily or the water.  Any thoughts?

What are the first few things you all consider when you open in PS.  Which adjustments do you tend to use first.  Seems to me the order that they are in may not be the best order.  I think I could pick up a lot just hearing you all talk about it.  I do listen on all the other threads but there is more information than I need and it overwhelms me a bit.  I'm watching tutorials too.   Thanks.  

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wolfnowl
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« Reply #12 on: December 25, 2009, 11:27:58 AM »
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Quote from: Shirley Bracken
I used to shoot with a Minolta SRT 101, I have thousands of negatives.  Some of them have stuck together.  Is there a solution I can soak them in to get them apart?  Or can I just soak them in water?  Or are they just dead?
It depends on what parts are stuck to what part.  Soaking them in warm water certainly won't hurt them.  There's a solution you could try but I can't for the life of me think of the name of it right now.

Mike.
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If your mind is attuned to beauty, you find beauty in everything.
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Shirley Bracken
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« Reply #13 on: December 25, 2009, 11:36:28 AM »
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Thanks Mike.  Is using a scanner to capture old negatives the best way?
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ckimmerle
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« Reply #14 on: December 25, 2009, 11:49:36 AM »
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Shirley,

When I referred to playing the droplets against the curled leaf edges, I meant during the initial exposure. That would have required a completely different train of thought thus, a different image altogether. I'm not sure you can do much to effectively create that juxtaposition with the current image, although it might be a good exercise. No harm in trying, though. It might actually be a good exercise.

Remember to take what we say with a grain of salt. This is a subjective business and we all have our own preferences. You've got to follow your own path.

As for post-processing, I'm primarily a b/w photog, so my workflow is going to differ a bit from you color folks. I usually set my black and white points first followed by basic color correction. Then, if needed, I'll selectively open the shadows (they often get a bit blocked during grayscale conversion) and lower the highlight contrast (again, if needed). After that, I'll covert to grayscale using any one of three or four methods then proceed to my many layers of localized adjustments: contrast, density, etc.

Chuck
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Shirley Bracken
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« Reply #15 on: December 25, 2009, 12:04:30 PM »
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I see.  Don't worry I am never offended when someone is trying to help me.

 I have moved from the average side of my camera to the more professional side.  I just need to read and listen.  I have learned a tremendous amount here.

I have a note book beside the computer to write relevant information down in.   I might not understand it at that moment but it usually fits in eventually.  I hate being the dumbest one in the class but I know I will be promoted in time.  

My main need right now is photographing my WC paintings so I can print them.  At least I am not the dumbest in painting.  The site I am on is offering prints on demand.  I need to retake all my fine art photos over again at a higher resolution for them to print from.  Any advice there?  

With Photoshop I take my cue from little boys... I screw with everything to see what it will do.  
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kkovak
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« Reply #16 on: January 13, 2010, 02:35:12 PM »
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Quote from: Shirley Bracken
IMy main need right now is photographing my WC paintings so I can print them.  At least I am not the dumbest in painting.  The site I am on is offering prints on demand.  I need to retake all my fine art photos over again at a higher resolution for them to print from.  Any advice there?

Shirley,

With regards to photgraphing your water color paintings if you do a Google search on "photographing fine art" you will find a lot of information and things to try.  Mainly about lighting and controlling reflections.  

Depending upon the size of you originals you may do better with a flat bed scanner than a photo with a digital slr.  My wife is a pressed flower artist and when her originals are small enough for our scanner we scan as I get better results for her.  On my SmugMug website is a gallery of her work, most of which has been scanned.

Good Luck!
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DaveL
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« Reply #17 on: February 16, 2010, 10:33:04 AM »
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I read through this post and I'm glad that I did!

I have similar needs.
Luckily, my backup external hard drive is still intact. Should someone come in and steel my computer, I am sure that they will take the hard drive too. So that's a temporary fix. I need to investigate off site backup.
I have 15,000 slides from a previous lifetime. My pradovit projector hasn't seen any use. Some should be scanned, and I haven't selected a scanner yet.

I used to copy artwork (for the painter) so that she could submit slides for juried competitions. I had no issues, no special equipment, and the results turned out very well. Suggest that you go ahead and try. At least you don't need to pay for film and processing!


Thank you for your post. My heart goes out to you for the loss of your images.

Regards,
Dave L
Toronto
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Dale Villeponteaux
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« Reply #18 on: September 26, 2010, 08:55:11 PM »
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A data recovery service, or perhaps even just software, should be able to recover a lot of your images.
Hope so, anyway.
Dale
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« Reply #19 on: October 21, 2010, 09:21:51 PM »
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The solution wolfnowl has in mind may be the wetting agent "Photoflo".  One dissolves an ounce or two (see directions) in a gallon of water.  It may help separate them by soaking (though warm water should be pretty effective on its own) and prevents water spots when drying.  Dry the negatives in a low-dust place such as a closet; hanging them reduces dust accumulation.  If they are cut apart into strips try a clothespin or similar clip on the sprocket holes, not the image area, at opposite corners.  After they are thoroughly dry, keep them in archival plastic sleeves such as Print Files.
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