Back Modifications (6)
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By AM74
I am totally a novice. Bought myself a canon 5d mark iv and went into the countryside just to try out. Did some work in snapseed app to modify it. Any feedback, negative or otherwise, will be welcome. Thanks

Tags: Flowers and plants Leaves autumn

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mrswoolybill Plus
13 2.3k 2262 United Kingdom
3 Dec 2017 11:28AM
Hi Annie, welcome to ePHOTOzine, I see that you joined us yesterday. I hope you'll enjoy it here, it's a very friendly site, and a great place to share and learn. Explore some of the other areas apart from the Galleries, as a beginner you'll find a lot of help - articles, explanations...

You ticked the critique box when you uploaded, that puts the image in the Critique Gallery as well as the main gallery. It invites more in-depth commenting, but disables votes and awards. It also allows other members to modify the image. I hope that was your intention?

You've picked one helluva fine camera for a novice, but technically quite a steep learning curve. You have a good eye for an image, this is truly beautiful, the essence of what autumn ought to look and feel like. You've focused very carefully on those leaves on the left, a large aperture (low F number) gives very shallow depth of field and isolates the subject from a soft, blurred background. I think I'd go for F5.6 or F8, to bring a few more leaves into focus. The background would still be blurred.

Remember that wherever you focus, your depth of field (the distance that is in acceptable focus) in front of the focusing point is only half of what you get behind. That matters when you have leaves hanging in different planes. With a very large aperture, pretty well anything between the camera and the point where you focus risks being blurred.

You mention having processed in snapseed, I'd be very interested to see the original. You can upload it here as a modification - click on the blue Modifications button below your image, then on Upload a modification. I've added my own modification, I'll come to that in a moment.

Something very important - you need to watch all your settings very carefully. The ISO - light sensitivity - was set to 6400 which is very high! It's what you would use for photographing in very poor light. This is a camera that performs well at high ISO, but raising it to this level will inevitably entail a loss of image quality. There's a harshness, coarseness here that will be partly a result of the high ISO, perhaps also of the processing which is why I'd like to see the original.

In general, use the lowest ISO that will support the other settings that you need. You didn't need 1/8000 second, which is the sort of speed you might choose for freezing a bullet in flight... 1/100 second, held very carefully, would be fine and would allow ISO 100 and significantly better image quality!

I wonder if the ISO was left over from a previous night-time shoot? You need to check your settings at the end of every shoot, and double check at the beginning of the next one.

One other point - you used a small minus exposure setting. That seems logical when photographing into bright light, but in fact the light will trick the camera's brain into underexposing, so a small plus compensation makes more sense.

I suspect that you processing has really pushed brightness and saturation, and highly saturated reds tend to lose detail For my modification I reduced brightness slightly, which brings out more texture in the background, and also reduced saturation on reds by 10%. That brings out a bit more subtlety in the leaves.

Just minor tweaks to a good file. But it would have been better if taken at a more sensible ISO!

One other
mrswoolybill Plus
13 2.3k 2262 United Kingdom
3 Dec 2017 11:40AM
Ignore the final One other, I'm not sure how it crept in!
dudler Plus
17 1.3k 1692 England
3 Dec 2017 12:51PM
And welcome from me, too, Annie.

Moira's said it all - starting with the way you have chosen what is, probably, the current benchmark camera for serious amateurs, and a good number of professionals. It should be capable of just about anything you want to do.

Aperture priority is a good choice of mode: it's what I use most of the time, as do many other people. Where you are facing bright or dark backgrounds, you may need to use the +/- adjustment (here, you'd dialled in -1/3 stop of compensation: I am not sure you needed any, but it depends on how light or dark you want the picture to be).

The ISO setting (and therefore the shutter speed) could be described as a little wayward. Keep an eye on all the settings - you may find it useful to look at (and keep looking back at) the EXPOSURE TRIANGLE. It's the key to a lot of the problems people have with settings.

The final thing is processing. Snapseed alters reality - and part of the learning curve is to do with finding out how to reproduce reality faithfully. Once you've got that taped, processing can be fun - for the moment, it's possibly a complication that you don't need, and which may impair your progress. (But that may be me going rather old fogey on you...)

I look forward to seeing more work soon.

mrswoolybill Plus
13 2.3k 2262 United Kingdom
3 Dec 2017 1:47PM

Quote:The final thing is processing. Snapseed alters reality - and part of the learning curve is to do with finding out how to reproduce reality faithfully. Once you've got that taped, processing can be fun - for the moment, it's possibly a complication that you don't need, and which may impair your progress.

I think the important thing is to set out with a clear idea of the result that you want to achieve. Don't get carried away with using special effects for their own sake. It's worth checking back every so often and asking - 'Am I really improving things'

I've seen some interesting effects from Snapseed, but it's not an ideal place to start. Get to understand the basics - how to adjust light. There's good, user-friendly software available as free downloads or as an affordable purchase.

But get to grips with that triangle first - aperture, shutter speed, ISO. Work to understand them individually, but also the way they interact. It's a bit like juggling three balls at once.
3 Dec 2017 1:50PM
Hi Moira and John,

Thank you both so much for taking the time to let me have such detailed feedback! Much appreciated. When I took the photo, I was overwhelmed by the very complicated settings of the camera. So I think a bit of a fluke really. But yes, your comments re ISO totally make sense and taken on board.

Am attaching the original photo Moira to compare.

Many thanks again.
mrswoolybill Plus
13 2.3k 2262 United Kingdom
3 Dec 2017 2:06PM
Thanks for adding the original. It's somewhat underexposed on the leaves as I expected. Try a small plus exposure compensation next time in these circumstances. And do beware of pushing saturation up too far.
mrswoolybill Plus
13 2.3k 2262 United Kingdom
3 Dec 2017 2:20PM
I've uploaded a modification, based on your original. I selected the leaves and lightened them - something o notice is that improving light also improves colour!

One possibility here would have been to use a bit of flash.
dudler Plus
17 1.3k 1692 England
3 Dec 2017 3:17PM
Yes - many thanks for the original, and also for the feedback. A conversation makes this easier and more fun!

As Moira says, a positive exposure compensation would have been good, rather than the negative one you used.

Mod coming.
banehawi Plus
16 2.3k 4160 Canada
3 Dec 2017 3:29PM
A tighter crop can look nice. Ive loaded a mod as an example. I used your original.


3 Dec 2017 10:49PM
Hi Moira, John and Willie,

I have learnt so much in one day, just because all of you went out of your way and took time to help a complete stranger! Photography is not my day job but I am fascinated by it and really keen to learn.

What an incredible resource! Thank Lord for the internet and people like you all.

Have a great week and much appreciated.
mrswoolybill Plus
13 2.3k 2262 United Kingdom
4 Dec 2017 7:14AM
And thank you for your feedback, it's always good when we hear from people. That way we are not typing into empty space... We are all volunteers here, but we have a passion for photography and we love to see beginners make real progress.

Keep practising, all of this will become second nature in time. And let us see more of your work.

dudler Plus
17 1.3k 1692 England
4 Dec 2017 9:08AM
I'll second all of that!

As I've said to a few people recently, it's like learning to drive. At first, there are so many different things you have to learn to do just right, all at the same time: the gears, the clutch, mirrors to check, steering and brakes to manage.. A year or two onwards, and people find they can actually TALK at the same time as driving.

So it will all come together, providing you continue to show the enthusiasm and commitment that are so apparent at this point.

As Moira says, the Critique Team (and various other people who comment here) share a passion for photography, and sharing the wonder and the fun. There's something else, as well - I find, when there's someone attacking the learning curve like my son 'addressing' a climbing wall, that it reminds me of when I was 14, and learning to develop and print my pictures. I soaked up everything I could find - I still have the copy of the Ilford Manual of Photography that I got as a school prize that year, and while it was dry and dusty compared with the books Michael Freeman and Tom Ang write these days, it was inspiring.

So, in a sense, you are allowing me to relive my journey by sharing yours. And that is a wonderful gift, for which I am very grateful.

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