PDA

View Full Version : How am I doing? Critique my first shots please.


lpsouth1978
02/19/2016, 07:22 PM
I have never used a DSLR camera until today. I purchased a Nikon D5500 kit with an 18-55mm lens, a 55-200mm lens, and a bunch of accessories. I then went ahead and purchased a 50mm prime lens with a maximum aperture of f/1.4, and a 105mm macro lens.

I am still playing around with the lenses and getting an idea how everything works. Here are a few shots that I took today. The Wendy's cup was the very first shot I took with the 50mm lens and I think it looks pretty good. Mickey was the next one. I took the coral shot using the 105mm macro lens.

Let me know what you all think. I am pretty excited with the way they turned out.

http://i1192.photobucket.com/albums/aa336/lpsouth1978/Wendys_zpsmm0otqbx.jpg (http://s1192.photobucket.com/user/lpsouth1978/media/Wendys_zpsmm0otqbx.jpg.html)

http://i1192.photobucket.com/albums/aa336/lpsouth1978/Mickey_zpsp7n0hxas.jpg (http://s1192.photobucket.com/user/lpsouth1978/media/Mickey_zpsp7n0hxas.jpg.html)

http://i1192.photobucket.com/albums/aa336/lpsouth1978/First%20lightroom%20photo_zpsovqz1tuy.jpg (http://s1192.photobucket.com/user/lpsouth1978/media/First%20lightroom%20photo_zpsovqz1tuy.jpg.html)

lpsouth1978
02/19/2016, 07:42 PM
Here are a couple more shots taken with the 105mm macro lens.

http://i1192.photobucket.com/albums/aa336/lpsouth1978/Red%20and%20Blue%20Monti_zps7uxutbij.jpg (http://s1192.photobucket.com/user/lpsouth1978/media/Red%20and%20Blue%20Monti_zps7uxutbij.jpg.html)

http://i1192.photobucket.com/albums/aa336/lpsouth1978/Green%20and%20Blue%20Monti_zpsa5ez8oyo.jpg (http://s1192.photobucket.com/user/lpsouth1978/media/Green%20and%20Blue%20Monti_zpsa5ez8oyo.jpg.html)

Recty
02/20/2016, 03:11 PM
They are nice, especially since they are your first attempts at using a DSLR.

If you stick with it, you'll look back in a year and be amazed how much you've learned.

Keep up the good work!

lpsouth1978
02/20/2016, 09:37 PM
They are nice, especially since they are your first attempts at using a DSLR.

If you stick with it, you'll look back in a year and be amazed how much you've learned.

Keep up the good work!

Thank you. I also posted these on a photography forum and got some good feedback from them. They were not in love with any of the photos, but gave me some things to look into. One of those things was "focus stacking". After a little bit of research, and a couple of video tutorials, I was ready to give it a shot. the first image is the result of my first focus stacking attempt.

I took the second photo in an effort to learn more about shooting in dark environments AND with a moving subject. Again I am pretty happy with the end result, though I appreciate any criticism that will help me improve my knowledge and skills.


http://i1192.photobucket.com/albums/aa336/lpsouth1978/crab.jpg_zpse3nzcwx7.png (http://s1192.photobucket.com/user/lpsouth1978/media/crab.jpg_zpse3nzcwx7.png.html)


http://i1192.photobucket.com/albums/aa336/lpsouth1978/Tube%20Anemone_zpsnp4y99h5.jpg (http://s1192.photobucket.com/user/lpsouth1978/media/Tube%20Anemone_zpsnp4y99h5.jpg.html)

rickztahone
02/22/2016, 05:01 PM
very refreshing to hear of someone just getting started in photography and researching and executing focus stacking. It isn't an easy technique, but a very useful one. You have shown us some great starter pics here. Keep practicing and you will improve. If you want to get even better shots with your new camera and macro, invest in a nice steady tripod. It doesn't have to be super expensive, you can go with a $150 one and you would be set for a really long time. Also, invest in a remote release trigger, not that expensive but helps you activate the shutter without having to touch the camera. Of course you can also use the built in timer, but you get much more controller with the remote release.

noy
02/24/2016, 12:24 AM
They are nice photos but if you are looking for critique on your first shot.
The first shot - i think you need to think about composition. If the idea of the shot was to capture the little crab in the acro then the crab should be the star of the shot and exposure control should be set to capture all the detail of the crab. Also the focus on the crab should be razor sharp. You can see motion blur and focus stack distortion on the claw of the crab. Also the photo needs better lighting/exposure control - the tips of the acro are over-exposed and there is loss of detail. You've captured some nice detail on the acro skin. From a technical execution of the focus stacking - you should have the full range of the shot in focus and the tips of the acro seems blurred out.
This is actually a pretty hard shot to shot (downwards into an acro - where your lighting is bouncing off the tips and the depths of acro are dark). Also, moving animals are very difficult to focus stack - if i was taking that shot -I would take a couple of exposure to capture the crab in precise detail - shooting at about a 1/125 speed at an aperture that will give me full depth of field on the crab (this is where the different exposures come in). I would then take the best exposure and stack it with the other exposures that give me depth of field on the rest of acro. When you do the stacking in PS - make sure you do it in 2 steps - do the aligning without the blending. Then - review each of the layers in your aligned shot to make sure the masking on the crab on your 1st shot does not over lap with the masking with the other exposure - otherwise you will get motion/distortion on the moving crab. Then you can blend it.

You might want to re-shoot your last 2 photos of the encrusting monti's using focus stacking - i think that type set up is much easier to execute.

lpsouth1978
02/24/2016, 10:50 AM
noy, thank you for the critique! I am still VERY new to this and had only learned about focus stacking the day before I took that photo of the crab, and I didn't get Photoshop until after I learned about focus stacking. I still have a LOT to learn, especially in Photoshop, WOW that is a tough program if you don't understand how to use it.

I will start reading about the masking, as I have no idea what you are talking about and then I will retry some new shots of that crab (he hangs out in the same spot ALL the time.

lpsouth1978
02/24/2016, 11:31 PM
Here are a few more shots that I took today. I set the camera on a good tripod and used a higher f-stop. It took a while to get the focus stacking done, but I am pretty happy with how they came out.


http://i1192.photobucket.com/albums/aa336/lpsouth1978/Red%20Goniapora_zpsxseaa8yn.jpg (http://s1192.photobucket.com/user/lpsouth1978/media/Red%20Goniapora_zpsxseaa8yn.jpg.html)

http://i1192.photobucket.com/albums/aa336/lpsouth1978/Unknown%20Green%20Coral_zps9ejdzh5y.jpg (http://s1192.photobucket.com/user/lpsouth1978/media/Unknown%20Green%20Coral_zps9ejdzh5y.jpg.html)

And this is my favorite so far (By a long shot)

http://i1192.photobucket.com/albums/aa336/lpsouth1978/Watermelon_zpse2hgsogo.jpg (http://s1192.photobucket.com/user/lpsouth1978/media/Watermelon_zpse2hgsogo.jpg.html)

rickztahone
02/25/2016, 08:08 PM
That last one is very cool. I'd be proud of it :)

Itchy fishy
02/26/2016, 05:12 PM
To the untrained eye (me) they all look good. As far back as I can remember I was always "into" photography, nothing fancy just loved capturing the moment in time . Far as I got with cameras was a cannon s4 if I remember correctly. I see the dslr's and they look so cool but it's just overwhelming with learning all the ins and outs. Just reading the posts my heads spinning. Last Christmas I think bj's had a really good deal nikon(not sure the model) couple of lenses. Then I'm thinking pay 500.00 to take pics of birds, squirrels. Anyway I'll just keep scanning the board for awesome shots and maybe one day devote the time to it.

noy
02/29/2016, 09:08 PM
noy, thank you for the critique! I am still VERY new to this and had only learned about focus stacking the day before I took that photo of the crab, and I didn't get Photoshop until after I learned about focus stacking. I still have a LOT to learn, especially in Photoshop, WOW that is a tough program if you don't understand how to use it.

I will start reading about the masking, as I have no idea what you are talking about and then I will retry some new shots of that crab (he hangs out in the same spot ALL the time.

After you aligned the shots with photoshop - all the different exposures you used for stacking are now layers within the new image. What PS does is it figures out which parts of the picture are in focus and then "masks" these so that they overlay over the other layers. So before you do the blend - you should be able to see multiple layers in your new aligned image.

Nice photos - excellent colour saturation on the images.

lpsouth1978
04/25/2016, 04:23 PM
Here is my latest attempt. I thought I would try to get some pics of the fish in my tank and I think this shot was one of the best. Compostion could use a little work, but the quality of the image seems really good to me. Let me know what I could have done better.

Passer Angelfish

http://i1192.photobucket.com/albums/aa336/lpsouth1978/DSC_0003.jpg_zps7qrbsygm.png (http://s1192.photobucket.com/user/lpsouth1978/media/DSC_0003.jpg_zps7qrbsygm.png.html)

I also really liked this shot of my Naso Tang

http://i1192.photobucket.com/albums/aa336/lpsouth1978/DSC_0091_zpsan351kod.jpg (http://s1192.photobucket.com/user/lpsouth1978/media/DSC_0091_zpsan351kod.jpg.html)