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PostPosted: Mon Jul 31, 2017 1:42 pm 
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I have a drone that I purchase a year or two ago that I haven't flown outside much because of the wind. I use to go down to our basement and practice hovering with it. I would love to turn on its camera and take it up, but I want to do that in a park where I can chase it down if the wind takes it out of range.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 31, 2017 1:46 pm 
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Is that shot around Mc Nab Rd.. ??


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 31, 2017 2:17 pm 
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Yup.....That is mcnab.....

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 16, 2017 2:36 am 
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One thing I regret is not being a skilled photographer. Some of the photos you folks take are incredible. On my last big trip, I Googled "best point and shoot camera for morons" and bought the Sony MX100. I think if I had a photographer's eye, I would've better appreciated the places I've visited. It's part laziness that I haven't developed my skills. Heck, I didn't even know about the camera rule of thirds until that trip. That little technique has made all the difference.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 16, 2017 2:48 am 
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slowpoke wrote:
One thing I regret is not being a skilled photographer. Some of the photos you folks take are incredible. On my last big trip, I Googled "best point and shoot camera for morons" and bought the Sony MX100. I think if I had a photographer's eye, I would've better appreciated the places I've visited. It's part laziness that I haven't developed my skills. Heck, I didn't even know about the camera rule of thirds until that trip. That little technique has made all the difference.


Happy to help with photography & processing advice, if it helps (I've been providing people with online assistance for about 10 years or so) - just message me through my professional image services page if ever you "feel the need": https://www.facebook.com/CJSouthernNZ/


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 16, 2017 3:41 am 
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Thanks, I will do that. I'm thinking of getting a DSLR despite my reservations. I travel extremely light and I know those things can weigh a ton. I cringe at some of the photos I've taken over the years. How can anybody screw up a photo of the Taj Mahal? I can!

Coming back to the rule of thirds, it's incredible how that simple technique changes everything. All that lighting and thingymajig you guys do to make water look like clouds is impressive. I just "point and shoot" and hope for the best. I mentioned I took 4,200 photos of NZ. I KEPT 4,200. I took double that but deleted the awful ones.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 16, 2017 4:12 am 
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slowpoke wrote:
Thanks, I will do that. I'm thinking of getting a DSLR despite my reservations. I travel extremely light and I know those things can weigh a ton. I cringe at some of the photos I've taken over the years. How can anybody screw up a photo of the Taj Mahal? I can!

Coming back to the rule of thirds, it's incredible how that simple technique changes everything. All that lighting and thingymajig you guys do to make water look like clouds is impressive. I just "point and shoot" and hope for the best. I mentioned I took 4,200 photos of NZ. I KEPT 4,200. I took double that but deleted the awful ones.


DSLRs are good - we're in somewhat of a rapid "state of change" though towards other competing variations though (like mirrorless) that are real game-changers in terms of image quality -v- cost -v- size/weight. My usual "weapon of choice" (Canon 1D X) can take up to 14 photos a second -- that can be 14 good photos or 14 bad photos; the camera doesn't care either way. The biggest difference is still the decisions the photographer makes - more expensive cameras like the 1D X don't necessarily take any better photos (much as more expensive pots and pans don't make for a better tasting cake), but they do have options and technology that can make the process easier (such as being able to shoot a 7 frame bracket -v- only 3 for some other cameras).

For landscape, rule-of-thirds ("RoT") has it's uses (lots of them!), but other compositional elements like "anchors" also come into it too (in the photo below the tall tree serves as an anchor - putting it on a RoT intersection wouldn't work as well).

The "Silky water" effect (works with clouds too) is just the result of a long exposure - a good DSLR will often have the ability to support longer exposures (or bulb mode where the shutter is held open as long as required), but often it's easier to just combine multiple shorter exposures; (a) you often don't need ND filters to attenuate the light, (b) multiple exposures significantly lowers the noise levels, and (c) if we cock-up the exposure we know about it pretty quickly and can have time to adjust and reshoot during times where the light is changing rapidly. In Photoshop it only takes a few clicks to average as many shots as you like - the last image was about 80 iphone shots (hand held). Good tripod is essential. Hope that helps!

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 16, 2017 4:57 am 
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1) The laying tree is my attempt at the rule of thirds.

2) The road photo has an overly-contrasted (is that a word?) sky. I have too many photos where the clouds and blue sky are not separated. I always set the Sony RX100 at Automatic and this is what happens sometimes. Argh! Why?

3) Milford Sound has a haze. Yes, it could be the mid-day humidity, but is there a technique to get rid of that?


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 16, 2017 5:42 am 
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BTW, I forgot to ask you about your anchor tree photo. How would it look different under the rule of thirds?


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 16, 2017 5:51 am 
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slowpoke wrote:
1) The laying tree is my attempt at the rule of thirds.


And it's ... fine. Sometimes photography is presented as art ... but often it's just a record of what was in front of the lens at the time. Not every shot is going to be large-format canvas material :)

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2) The road photo has an overly-contrasted (is that a word?) sky. I have too many photos where the clouds and blue sky are not separated. I always set the Sony RX100 at Automatic and this is what happens sometimes. Argh! Why?


That's an easy one :) It's nothing to do with contrast - it's to do with exposure metering. The shutterspeed / aperture / ISO combination determines the effective exposure that's ordered-up by the camera - and it can only ever result in the one automatic choice to cater for the exposure needs of the entire scene - and the result is often a compromise because the range of brightnesses throughout the scene often exceeds a monitor's (or prints) ability to display it. We get this a lot shooting real estate interiors where the view through the window is a LOT brighter than the general light levels inside.

What you have here is "blown highlight"; the camera has divided the scene into numerous metering zones and then set the exposure to give what it thinks is the best compromise overall - in this case a well-exposed road and foliage, but at the expense of sky detail. There are a number of techniques for dealing with it - some aren't pretty - and the results depend to a degree on what the camera is capable of.

* The simplest is to start with Exposure Compensation ("EC") - it's simply a way to tell the camera "work out what you think is best - and then increase or decrease what you calculated by "X" amount. This will get you nice skys and clouds - but other parts of the scene are likely to be very dark. The dark areas CAN be raised in post-processing (called dynamic range compression) - BUT - when we raise the shadow detail level we also raise the noise levels - and the acceptability of the result can depend on things like sensor size (bigger sensors capture cleaner information) and just how much of a shift is required. That's one of the biggest differences between serious DSLRs and phone cameras -- both can take a nice shot when there's plenty of light and not too much variation in light levels in a scene - but in low light situations the images from the camera phone just fall apart when you try to adjust them.

* Another technique is to shoot a bracket of exposures - so the camera takes 2 or more shots at different exposures (my pro cameras with both take 2, 3, 5, or 7 shots in a bracket). These are then combined into an HDR (High Dynamic Range) composite. These can require a lot of skill to get looking good. It's something I have to work with a LOT.

As a rule, just make sure that you have the "blinkies" turned on on your camera (areas of a photo that blink if that part of the image is over-exposed) and reshoot the scene with a bit of negative EC dialed in if the blinkies are in areas where you want to retain detail. That's the "quick summary" - it's quite an in-depth area to try and cover in just a few sentences - but feel free to let me know if you need more specific info.

Here's an example; first image exposes for the outside - second for the inside (not the blown detail outside) - and the third is the composite HDR image

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3) Milford Sound has a haze. Yes, it could be the mid-day humidity, but is there a technique to get rid of that?


There's not much you can do in-camera; sometimes circular polarising filters can help - but they also add other challenges such as attenuating the light by (typically) 2 stops and creating uneven skies in wide-angle photos. Generally haze is best dealt with in post-processing where it improves it a lot to a point and then starts to look over done. Photoshop has a specific haze adjustment. This is actually a (lack of) contrast issue.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 16, 2017 6:56 am 
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One reason I got the Sony MX100 is because it had a one inch sensor, which was unheard of in a pocket-sized camera. I thought "that's great!" even though I didn't have a clue what that meant (I still don't). If I had gotten a nice DSLR and set it to Automatic, will I still have gotten that "blown highlight" on the road photo? BTW, your metering zone explanation makes complete sense now.

That third composite HDR image is remarkable. Amazing you can see both the inside and outside clearly. Mine always look like the second photo.

Wow, that haze has disappeared from Milford Sound.

I tell you what, I'll trailer you on my next bicycle trip and you can be my professional photographer!


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 16, 2017 7:00 am 
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Very nice photos guys. We should create a photography thread..

@slowpoke i like your first photo
@maverick awesome shots mate

i used to take portraits shots too..

not anymore though..


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 16, 2017 7:38 am 
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slowpoke wrote:
One reason I got the Sony MX100 is because it had a one inch sensor, which was unheard of in a pocket-sized camera. I thought "that's great!" even though I didn't have a clue what that meant (I still don't). If I had gotten a nice DSLR and set it to Automatic, will I still have gotten that "blown highlight" on the road photo? BTW, your metering zone explanation makes complete sense now.


Camera's are smart and dumb at the same time - The two I shoot with cost NZD $20,000 new - and yes - they'll still get exposures "wrong" ... mostly because they have no way of knowing which parts of the scene are important to you. Here's a more dramatic example - correct sky exposure, but "a little problem" with the foreground detail.

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But by taking a bracket of exposures, I'm able to produce this:

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It's just an unfortunate reality that a scene that has a range of - probably 11 stops - ain't going to display well on a monitor that can only display about 6. So 11 has to be compressed into 6 - with is easy-peasy to do ... it just ain't always easy-peasy to do and have it still look good; we start to get into things like "local contrast" where areas that would be at different levels are actually close to the same levels, but the brain doesn't "twig" because they're in different areas of the image. In "English" that really means "try using exposure compensation, but if you can't get the results you want then take a bracket of shots and sort it out in post-processing later".

Quote:
That third composite HDR image is remarkable. Amazing you can see both the inside and outside clearly. Mine always look like the second photo.


They're not easy - windows like that are a royal PITA to mask off in Photoshop. I also use another more advanced technique in Photoshop to build up areas to reveal detail in very dard areas without showing noise eg:

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Wow, that haze has disappeared from Milford Sound.

I tell you what, I'll trailer you on my next bicycle trip and you can be my professional photographer!


Done! :)


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 16, 2017 7:49 am 
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alx123 wrote:
Very nice photos guys. We should create a photography thread..

@slowpoke i like your first photo
@maverick awesome shots mate

i used to take portraits shots too..

not anymore though..


Nice work.

I used to have my own studio - but it was costing some $8000 or so a year in rent so I let it go (with much regret -- was one of the best equipped private studios in the country). Never ending stream of 16 & 17 year old girls wanting photos for their portfolios, but not one of them had any money to pay for them. I was happy to do it for free whilst I was learning my trade, but after a while it gets a bit "old". Managed to by my daughter's considerable "street cred" at the time though!

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 16, 2017 9:40 am 
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Just saw this topic.

This is what I do, on and off, for fun these days. The yellow plane and the one along side it are mine.
As for the second picture, I used to be in a WWII living history group - we had 4 planes and flew to airshows all over the US. This is me in the cockpit of a Spitfire in Aspen Colorado (quite a few years ago!):


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 16, 2017 10:33 am 
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I used to ski competitively, but the knees can't take it anymore. Now, I make my own beer and mountain bike (mostly rail-trails). I also play on Xbox and PlayStation.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 16, 2017 6:18 pm 
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Wow!!!

I'm in the process of getting back into my drums. . .just ordered a new throne, sticks, and base pedal strap. Taking up learning guitar (Squire Fender Tele), and need to renew my interest in photograpy. :D


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 16, 2017 7:43 pm 
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slowpoke wrote:
One thing I regret is not being a skilled photographer.


I don't, I take pictures because I enjoy doing so and have had no training and done no research of any kind into photography.
I've had pictures published in national aviation magazines which were taken on a single shot disposable camera.
My philosophy: Point and click enough times and you'll usually capture something good.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 16, 2017 7:48 pm 
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Limey wrote:
Just saw this topic.

This is what I do, on and off, for fun these days. The yellow plane and the one along side it are mine.
As for the second picture, I used to be in a WWII living history group - we had 4 planes and flew to airshows all over the US. This is me in the cockpit of a Spitfire in Aspen Colorado (quite a few years ago!):


Small world - RC Helicopters is one of my hobbies.

My Dad fought in WWII - wireless operator on the Stirlings.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 16, 2017 9:59 pm 
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One passion I had was playing pinball. Not sure if that's something to be proud or ashamed of. Teehee. I actually once held the world record on the Twilight Zone pinball machine (yes, we actually keep records).

I'm also trying to complete the entire eskimo roll skill set on my sea kayak.

I also love bicycle touring, astronomy, and freediving.


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