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31/12/2008 - 12:19 PM

Little House On The Praire

Little House On The PraireYou have mentioned in your forum post that the highlights keep flashing. Nikon's are very sensitive to this, so please turn it off and use the histogram instead, especially if you are going to start shooting RAW (NEF). You can feather the leap to raw by shooting NEF+Jpg fine for a while, giving you both options.

Check the histogram and adjust the exposure with +/- ev or shoot a bracket burst. (Using the +/- ev button on the back of the camera and turning the control wheel a click or two either way will soon become second nature and you don't need to take your eye from the camera while doing it.)
Also, try changing the metering from average to spot or centre weighted (can't remember how the D80 does this) and see the differences. (The spot will meter from the focus point)

This way you will find a method of exposing (your landscapes Wink) that suits you and you are happy with. Don't be afraid to experiment with the settings, but turn off or ignore the warnings! Smile


Ian Smile
30/12/2008 - 9:49 AM


caterpillarThe camera and lens info helps but doesn't tell us why the image is soft. As you have stripped out the exif information ( a side effect of 'save for web'), there is no way we can tell what aperture, shutterspeed or ISO sensitivity has been used.

And, by using the 'Macro' setting these will have been chosen by the camera rather than you deciding them.
Levels, curves and sharpening can all be improved on this image. Enable 'Modifications' so that a comparison can be uploaded.

29/12/2008 - 7:12 AM

dragon fly

dragon flyHi Jason,
You've asked in the forum for critique of your photographs, and I've taken a look around your portfolio at a few.
One thing that strikes me is the lack of information you provide about them, making constructive critique rather difficult. Basic camera and lens info boxes are there for you to use and would help with any commentor being able to identify problems.
The majority of your images look soft to me, but without knowing your gear I cannot say why. A number look as though they are severe crops, but you don't say.

Take this shot for example and then compare it to this one picked at random from the galleries. Look at the amount of detail in the body and wings and you will answer your own question.

26/12/2008 - 9:46 AM

Street art. 1

Street art. 1I like the subject and angle/composition very much. The DOF is spot on, but I feel the background distracts a little, reducing the impact of the image.
It's the OOF black blotches of the windows that are doing it!

I don't know if the shot was set up or candid (the lighting is spot on, so tempted to think it was set up) but with the B/W treatment the background could be less contrasty bringing out the subject a little more.
Cracking effort though.

16/09/2008 - 6:17 PM

on the web

on the webNicely taken. Keeping the web in focus adds to it. An atomiaser/mist spray helps with these though! Wink

15/09/2008 - 4:12 PM

king charles spaniel

king charles spanielHello Debsy,

The comments above are valid, and the thing that spoils a lovely capture is the lack of depth-of-field along with the background as noted.
The background Pat has cured, and it is not always possible to get a perfect background, especially with pets.
The cure for the depth-of-filed would be to clse the aperture down by a stop or so. I'm guessing that this was shot wide open at f/4 on that lens, whereas an aperture of f/5.6-f/8 would have sharpened the face up without sharpening the background too much.
Pets, like humans, benefit from lenses a little longer than you have used for portraits, and, of course, can be a lot cuter! Wink


29/08/2008 - 1:17 PM

English Summer

English SummerHello Peter.
The image is a little small to be able to critique well, you can load up to 600pxl (longest side) images which would make life easier!

From what I can see you have tried to isolate some raindrops on the leaves with a narrow depth of field, however it has not quite worked as there are two leaves with in-focus drops on. For an image of this kind to work you would need to compose the shot so that just a single leaf was in the image, and preferably isolate the raindrops more effectively. For instance, the bright out-of-focus raindrop in the foreground distracts the eye from the in-focus ones behind it. Also, crop out the right-hand leaf, preferably by recomposing in camera, but alternatively in post processing.
Without camera/lens details its hard to be more specific.

24/07/2008 - 10:15 PM


SquirrelI agree with Ade's comments for the image as it is, but with small mammals and, in fact any animals, you will get a better image if you get them at eye level.

In this case, getting down on the grass with the squirrel is quite possible with a little patience and with the camera just six inches off the ground you will get far more appealing images.


15/05/2008 - 8:15 PM


Quote: Thats something I often forget about and come home with 99% of my photos in landscape

You should be aiming much nearer 50/50!

If you can fill the frame more with the swan you will have far less exposure problems. And try to vary the focus point. This is obviously focussed on the central point and it therefore looks as though the swan is swimming out of the frame. If you had used the right side focus point, the bird would be to the right of centre and then moving into the frame.
By doing this, you avoid having to crop in post production and retain the full quality of the sensor.

With all birds in/on the water, I'm afraid you are going to have to get down and muddy! The nearer to water level you are, the better image you will get.