About photography Number 2

A place to swap ideas, share your hobbies, pass on hints and tips and discuss how you spend your free time.

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Kiya
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Post by Kiya »

Happy to say I got onto the forum 1st time & so far so good ....zooming along :D

Thanks for all the info folks :) Grandad when I took the picture above I was hanging out from my window & zoomed in on the rocks....would that put "sky" out of focus?
The pic below I took when I went for a stroll more close up, is this 1 more in focus?
I noticed in your pic with bowl/screws " iso 100 " mine is always at 64 should I be higher when taking pics outside? + I just found a " metering mode " on camera....whats that? I have options of centre or spot, mine has always been on centre.
I do apoligise for all the questions but determined to get it right even if it takes forever & a day ;)

LLL your link opened with no problems, all pics a great, the dogs look so happy all dressed up for the day, I wish my pics were so clear as yours :)




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Post by Grandad »

LLL, you really had fun, and such good colours :) :)

Kiya, if that is the view from your home, WOW how I envy you. :)

Leave your metering on centre at present, that is fine for virtually all picture taking. 64 ISO is too slow for a scene with so much light. Depending on what scene selection you are on the camera will probably default to a small aperture which, with the slow ISO will result in a longer than necessary shutter speed. This could mean that the problem could be movement during exposure. A tripod mounted shot would prove or disprove this. Try taking shots at 100, 200 and 400 ISO to look for differences in sharpness.

Does your camera carry full image date with each picture? If so have a look and see what ISO, aperture, and shutter speed were used.

As with PSP experimentation is often called for. :)
Grandad :gg:

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Post by Kiya »

Yes my camera has full image data when I view pictures on PC but all this ISO,Aperture & shutter speeds gets a bit confusing for a novice like me :roll: its all these things I have to try & remember before taking pictures.
I took pictures experimenting with all the ISO ranging from 64 - 1600 each 1 got brighter to near a complete faded out pic.
I haven't a tripod yet but going to look for 1 very soon if only I new what was best to suit my camera.

BTW...yes that is my view the Nth sea which is jumping wild horses today .
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Post by Grandad »

OK. We have all had a couple of days off but things seem back to normal today, thanks to DJK :)

With the invaluable help of Horus I am now getting to grips with 'selections'. :) They are very useful because you can select an area of a picture and either modify that or its background any way you wish so it opens opportunities for some creativity. ;)

Just been playing and whereas in Picasa you can highlight an area with 'Focal B & W' you are limited in the amount of control that you have. This is a picture treated this way....
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And this one by PSP selection.
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Yet another question for Horus....Is there any way that areas in the wheels, in the second picture, that still show colour could be toned down to better match the background???
(The colour saturation seems to have lost something in transmission :( )

Thanks, as always.
Grandad :gg:

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Post by LovelyLadyLux »

I just love those old vintage cars Grandad! EXCELLENT!

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Post by LivinginLuxor »

I'd come at the problem in a different way. Firstly, I'd desaturate the background, leaving the wheels. Once done, I'd zoom in on the wheels, and select the areas between the spokes, and keep on repeating the desaturation for each space - I've often tried holding shift down while selecting, but occasionally I've come off the shift key, and lost all the previous selections!
I might agree with you, but then we'd both be wrong!
Stan

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Post by Grandad »

You don't have to hold the shift or ctrl key down Stan,,,,the mode selection at the topp does that.

Following your point though, I still need to experiment more. Horus has long experience of working with this kind of program and it shows in his submissions. I DO pick his brains quite a lot. :)
Grandad :gg:

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Post by Kiya »

Grandad my program is different from yours, Stans instructions I follow but when I'm doing tricky little parts like in between your spokes I have to use the bracket key on keyboard to make my tool smaller to fit tiny spaces if I were to touch the spokes I have to use "alt" & drag the selection zig zag line back in , it usually works & I zoom in close to see better what I'm doing.
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Post by Horus »

Well I have to say that everyone seems to be having fun :D Great pictures from you all, Kiya is going great guns and LLL is enjoying her self so much, Grandads selections are top notch now so everyone is on a roll.
Grandad I will come back to you on that last question you asked :)

I often have friends and neighbours who are new to computing who will call upon me for help, especially if they have just purchased a new machine or maybe a new program to use. The one thing I always impress upon them is the phrase "there is more than one way to skin a cat" it is a common phrase where I come from and no doubt most of you have heard it before.

The reason that I impress this phrase upon them is because in computing it is very true, it is very rare that you cannot find several ways of doing the same thing in a program. Photo editing is no different and there are often several ways of doing the same task, for example you may use the 'Edit' menu in PSP and choose either the 'Clear' option or the 'Delete' option to perform the same task, in addition just pressing your keyboard 'Delete' key will do exactly the same thing.

So my point is that there are often many ways within the same program to do certain tasks so we should never be too dogmatic when we give our own advice, also as different programs will operate using different menus and keys, it is better if we try to describe the method of doing the task, rather than the precise details of how to do it as these may be different for other peoples software.

To that end, here is some basic layer info I promised.

Grandad wrote:
Secondly can you please explain what the diference is between raster and vector layers. And following from that what are art media, layer group, mask layer, and adjustment layers all about? As I have said, I don't have patience with the 'help'. Because it doesn't help, or at least, not in terms that simple folk can understand.
OK Grandad I will try to explain and avoid it being too technical if possible although I must point out that it is something you need to get to grips with and it can be difficult to try and cover all the explanations of what each type is for, but generally speaking:

A Raster Layer will contain a grid comprising of pixels that will vary in colour and can be zoomed in or out and all the pixels can be changed, the complete layer of pixels will be viewed as your picture.

A Vector layer is best described as a layer for putting in geometric shapes such as circles, curves, squares, ovals etc. While the ‘shape’ is still on a Vector layer it can still be manipulated as a complete entity. That is to say you can change the colour, size, line width and other things that cannot be done if it were on a Raster Layer.
Best to think of it like this: in a ‘Vector Layer’ you edit the shape, in a ‘Raster layer’ you edit the pixels.
Also any geometric shapes you create do not lose any definition regardless of how you increase or decrease their sizes.

Art Media is another way of adding more effects to your photo, there are more colours available plus various canvases that you can use as backgrounds, to be honest I have not used it much so maybe I will investigate it at a later date.

Layer groups are fairly easy to understand, basically you create these groups if you want the same action to apply to them all, for example changing all the opacity levels at the same time and at the same level.

Mask Layers work by allowing you to remove some of the uppermost layer to reveal the layer beneath it. You can obtain the same effect using your eraser brush.

Adjustment layers are as they sound like, when you create a new adjustment layer it gives you the opportunity to pick your adjustment method, so you may wish to create several. You could make one to adjust the ‘Brightness & Contrast’ and another to adjust the ‘Curve’ properties. I would suggest that you pick a photograph then create a few different type of adjustment layers then change the settings of each layer, you should soon get the idea.

I know this is all a bit basic but it may get you going in the right direction.
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Post by Grandad »

Well, now that LLL is getting her work published she will be getting a 'press pass' next and becoming a Pap :)))

Joking, LLL, I think your doggy shots are great :) :) :)

Thanks for all the above Horus. Have copied, pasted and printed to digest it all.
Grandad :gg:

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Post by Horus »

Well Grandad you are a glutton for punishment in choosing a picture with spoked wheels as your subject, but as I said in an earlier post “there is more than one way of skinning a cat” and this is a good example of that being true. As you know by now, it is fairly easy to isolate different areas of your picture by using your ‘lasso’ or ‘magic wand’ tools. This is OK if the changes you want to make are applicable to all of the selection, but as you have found out yourself it will also change parts you do not want to change.

There are a few ways around your problem, you could always make lots of different selection areas within the spokes and de-saturate them each in turn, but I am going to suggest you try the following method. It is still a lot of work, but it was you that chose a wheel with a lot of spokes in it, not me. :lol:

My Method:
Open your picture and create two more ‘Duplicate’ copies
Rename one of them as ‘Layer Colour’ and the other as ‘Layer B&W’

Now switch off the original ‘Background’ layer by clicking the eye symbol (so that it is showing a ‘No Entry’ symbol.

Make sure you are sitting on the B&W layer (by clicking on it to make it active).

Now go to ‘Adjust’ > ‘Hue and Saturation’ > ‘Hue and Saturation/Lightness’
I usually set my Hue to 360, Saturation to ‘0’ and Lightness to -2 and make sure that the ‘Colourise’ box is ticked.

Making sure that you are sitting on the ‘Colour’ layer choose your ‘Background Eraser’ tool.

Carefully trace the outline of the vehicle and the occupants by varying the size of the eraser tool to suit large or small tight areas.
Tip: you may overlap your outline slightly if using this tool without it erasing the shape, if you do accidentally erase something , right click your mouse to paste it back in again by re-painting the erased area.

You should now see the B&W area showing through from the other B&W layer. Continue ‘painting out’ all of the unwanted coloured areas until you achieve the best result.

All of your new B&W areas will now have the same Hue/Saturation colour in your picture.

Tip: Sometimes it helps to occasionally ‘switch off’ the B&W layer as you are erasing the colour. When you do this, you should see a clear chequered pattern instead of the B&W layer. You may also use the ‘Eraser’ tool whilst in this mode to remove stray pixels or other non critical large areas.

The example below was done using this method

Image
Image

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Post by Kiya »

A great job you have done Horus :)
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Post by LovelyLadyLux »

Am back with a question........and before I ask I have to admit I'm too stupid to figure out PSP x2. I'm just having a devil of a time figuring out anything above the basics.......soooo I'm at a momentary impasse with using this program 'til I get the book I've ordered explaining it. Partly I'm not finding the little boxes with info written on them particularly user friendly (at least not to me).....sooooooo I'm back to taking pictures and have put PSP x2 on hold 'til the book gets here and I can READ a page and keep it open while I play with the program.

Now - my question is......I read that if you turn a circular polarizing filter you'll get different effects.......true? I have one and have turned it etc. but I'm seeing no difference in the photos I'm taking......?? Is this true? Am I missing something?

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Post by Ashtree0 »

Are you standing 90 degrees from the sun? Unless your positioned correctly in relation to the sun you won't get the effect of the polarising filter. Polarising filterss work really well at giving depth of colour in blue skies - it doesn't work on everything.

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Post by LovelyLadyLux »

ahhhhhhh - 90 degrees to the sun.........will be out there trying that! Thanks Ashtree!!!!

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Post by Ashtree0 »

You're welcome LLL. Photography is all about experimentation and trial and error - it really is the best way to learn. I've only had an SLR for 2 and a half years so still learning myself really. If I had to give some advice to someone new to photography I would defiinitely say concentrate on learning the basic functions of your camera - don't worry too much about learning the ins and outs of a photo editing software programme. If you're taking really good photos - and that's the point after all - at the very most you will need to know how to crop, adjust the contrast and exposure - not much more than that. The stuff that Horus does is a completely different skill in itself - almost another art form that just happens to use photographs to create pieces of art work. I guess it depends what you are really interested in most. For me, it's the whole process of going out with my camera, the experience of whatever event or new place I am photographing and if one photo in 100 is OK I'm dead happy. I don't even care about being technically proficient - if I can capture one good picture - it's worth the time and effort.

I'm OK on Photoshop - though I did do a separate class for this though must admit I'd rather be outside with my camera than inside in front of a computer! You're making excellent headway - you've obviously been bitten by the bug!

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Post by Grandad »

I entirely agree with all you said Ashtree. I have been joining in with the photo editing stuff because I am a novice at it and it is an opportunity to pick Horus's brains. :) There are times when one feels a little artistic and plays with 'layers' but most times we just want to 'take' nice pictures.

I spent a couple of hours in the sun this afternoon sitting on a bench on the patio watching squirrels hunting peanuts on a grassy bank and great tits that have decided to use one of my nest boxes. Camera in hand of course, didn't manage to get anything worth keeping of the great tits but did get some of the squirrels. Took over 40 pics in all and kept 3. This is the one I like best and it is untouched other than resizing for posting.
Now all say Ahhhh! ;)

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I was lazy and just set on auto and the techie stuff is: 1/340 sec, f4.6, ISO100, 257mm focal length. I think the auto worked well because the aperture had just enough depth of field to put the background out of focus.

Just a little PS on polarisers. I have previously suggested to LLL to use these filters with caution because you can get extreme results that you probably will not like when viewed on screen. I would add that this effect is most pronounced when working at very short focal lengths. I would also add that the degree of polarisation can be effected by the amount of moisture in the air and, as Ashtree has said, your angle of view relative to the light. LLL, you mentioned that you could not see any difference when you rotated your filter. That may be for reasons already discussed but when viewing a scene that has glare or shine, through the viewfinder, only very small twisting of the filter is necessary to find the optimum point.
Grandad :gg:

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Post by Kiya »

A very nice picture Grandad & Ahh! the squirrel is so cute :)
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Post by LovelyLadyLux »

Squirrel is super cute Grandad! I've tried to catch the ones swinging from my trees out back but they're all camera shy and since I don't have a place in the sun to sit I get too impatient to wait! Still trying to catch the blue jays out there too.

Appreciate the polarizer tips. Have taken it off the camera now and only going to be using it 'sometimes' cause initially I was going to keep it on the end of the camera as a lens protector! ;)

I mostly enjoy taking pictures and enhancing with some cropping. I am 'hoping' one day to be a great as Horus but I'm far far far from getting there. Am not even CLOSE yet. I'm still into experimenting with all the different settings on the camera and getting familiar. I have trouble deleting photos cause I keep every one as priceless. ;) I've got to get more ruthless with discarding. Some out of focus are easy but others I just seem to need to keep them!

I know, beyond a shadow of doubt that I have gotten 'lots' better just reading the comments and suggestions on this forum. They've all been practical and really helpful.

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Post by Grandad »

Last Tuesday I spent an hour or so wandering around my home city on a very pleasant morning. Mrs G was otherwise engaged shopping, library etc...
I took a few snaps, and chatted to a few people, along the way and have put them in a web album if anyone cares to have a look.

http://picasaweb.google.co.uk/Raddang/A ... Canterbury#

Canterbury is a very small city, less than half a mile across within the city wall. The snaps are only a taster of the charm of the city, the history in which attracts many thousands of visitors from around the world every year.
Grandad :gg:

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