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      02-19-2008, 11:02 AM   #23
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Some really interesting stuff here.

For my 0.02, I have a DSLR (Nikon D50 - no RAW format) and an Olympus Mju 720SW point and shoot. My, ahem, photo comp-winning shot was taken with the Mju, but I infinitely prefer the results of the Nikon. It's only 6.1MP (a tiddler these days in pixel terms) but has such good processing that the results really are superb. The lens matters too obviously.

My main area for research will now be post-processing (along with maybe a DSLR body upgrade so I can shoot in RAW), and flash. Built in flashes give horribly harsh results at closer ranges, and are poor at longer ranges in my experience, so I want to get a flashgun and experiment with bouncing the light, flash filters etc.

Digital is where it's at but I do miss the art of properly 'crafting' a shot with a film SLR (you had to get it right then!), and using B and W film etc, to achieve good results. I used to love playing with exposures, apertures and getting good, grainy, atmospheric high contrast B and W shots on Ilford HP5 film. Just a look I love for landscapes etc.
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      02-20-2008, 04:00 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bumps View Post
Some really interesting stuff here.

For my 0.02, I have a DSLR (Nikon D50 - no RAW format) and an Olympus Mju 720SW point and shoot. My, ahem, photo comp-winning shot was taken with the Mju, but I infinitely prefer the results of the Nikon. It's only 6.1MP (a tiddler these days in pixel terms) but has such good processing that the results really are superb. The lens matters too obviously.

My main area for research will now be post-processing (along with maybe a DSLR body upgrade so I can shoot in RAW), and flash. Built in flashes give horribly harsh results at closer ranges, and are poor at longer ranges in my experience, so I want to get a flashgun and experiment with bouncing the light, flash filters etc.

Digital is where it's at but I do miss the art of properly 'crafting' a shot with a film SLR (you had to get it right then!), and using B and W film etc, to achieve good results. I used to love playing with exposures, apertures and getting good, grainy, atmospheric high contrast B and W shots on Ilford HP5 film. Just a look I love for landscapes etc.
I would have guessed that this was taken with a DSLR:



What I like about the shot is:

1. Lighting is excellent, the reflections on the car lift it from the slightly darker surroundings. It's picking up the warm sunlight that you can see on the hillside.

2. The focus is perfect (this is why I thought DSLR) The stones on the roadside are really crisp as is the car AND the hillside. Even the road in the distance seems ultra sharp (without any nasty artifacts).

3. Rule of 3rds composition. This can be replicated, but you have the car spot on 1/3rd of the way from the right and botton of the frame.

Question is ... how did you manage it?

Was it luck? Did you use manual settings ... if so what? How do you get that DSLR feel with the focus?
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      02-25-2008, 11:04 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by needforspeed View Post
1. Lighting is excellent, the reflections on the car lift it from the slightly darker surroundings. It's picking up the warm sunlight that you can see on the hillside.

2. The focus is perfect (this is why I thought DSLR) The stones on the roadside are really crisp as is the car AND the hillside. Even the road in the distance seems ultra sharp (without any nasty artifacts).

3. Rule of 3rds composition. This can be replicated, but you have the car spot on 1/3rd of the way from the right and botton of the frame.

Question is ... how did you manage it?

Was it luck? Did you use manual settings ... if so what? How do you get that DSLR feel with the focus?
NFS, sorry for my tardiness in getting back to you. To answer your questions in order:

1. Lighting was largely just luck; I picked early evening on a (rare in W Scotland) sunny day. The car was facing NE so the sun was behind the hill on the nearside rear quarter.

2. Focus was auto via my little Olympus Mju 720SW (the waterproof one - and this is after a day in my boardshorts pocket at Wild Wadi waterpark a few months before!!). I think the results with my Nikon D50 may have been even better. Don't forget the photo isn't blown up; I think you may see some noise if you did.

3. Composition was achieved because that was the way I was taught at school in art and later at college doing graphic design (including photography). I usually compose photos in this way, especially 'still lifes' like this, it just makes them more interesting, and in this case I wanted to get the road in addition to the car in the frame (see below).

A lot of this photo was luck and inspiration from someone else. I had seen a similar viewpoint in a photo in a magazine a few months back and it looked great. They should take full credit for the inspiration for the photo, I just experimented with angle of view (standing, kneeling, lying down etc) with my car in the frame, to try and make the composition look as good as possible. The fact that I used the road often (I worked nearby) and had my then brand new car was an opportunity too good to miss; I wanted to put my car into that setting. Though I'm hardly a 'photographer', the fact I used to study photography means I have got a lot of my ideas from others' work that I like and it's fun to try and recreate some of their magic. I don't have the creative spark to really do things that haven't been done before - I just obey the general rules. I experiment with lots of things after seeing others' photos - they're my inspiration usually. There was a UK4 photo that I thought was great in terms of exposure that I've been trying to recreate since (really light light areas and deep, deep blacks, the lights bleached out a bit and the colours saturated - I'll try and find it later....). I think that my 'apprenticeship' using film and manual SLRs paid dividends in that I (normally but not in this case - technically it was simply point and shoot with the flash disabled) always think about lighting, shutter speed, aperture and composition as a matter of course. And I rarely think of post-processing in PS or whatever as the means of getting a good result because of my using film in the past; my way is to try and get the best results in the camera in the first place.
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      02-25-2008, 11:58 AM   #26
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Thanks for replying Bumps. I guess it's just one of those shots when everything comes together really well.

I think the lighting is the main thing that lifts it above the norm - plus your astonishingly clean car

Just wondering if you point and shoot camera has set modes? Mine has a landscape 'best shot' setting which I guess I would probably have used.

What focus settings did you use?
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      02-25-2008, 04:31 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by needforspeed View Post
Just wondering if you point and shoot camera has set modes? Mine has a landscape 'best shot' setting which I guess I would probably have used.

What focus settings did you use?
It has a landscape mode but the menu is quite unwieldy so I leave it in the normal auto mode and just disable the flash whenever I can (that's on a soft key function). Focus was on full auto.
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