• Gfunk

      Moar munky pics pls.

    • Buddha92

      i have to ask, what do you use to get such clear, rich photos? like im using a T3i and the standard 18-55 lense( saving to get more equipment). even the basic things i take photos of are really.... well, bland and not as vibrant.

    • Buddha92


      i do paintball photography here in germany and im trying to get pics to look like this (photo below), any tips or pointers? even equipment recommendations?

    • ChainOfThought

      Software.  Later today I'll post two or three of the original pics next to the edited pics, the difference is astonishing.  I'm using a very heavy hand in the editing of all the ones I've posted and I'm doing it on purpose.  Most of those places don't look that vibrant in real life either.


      for paintball id say just make sure you have plenty of light, set your fastest shutter speed and set your aperture as small as you can, then shoot in a continuos mode so you get a burst series of pics for everything you take.  


      Edit: in the example you posted they probably used a wider aperture to get the background blurred like that.  I bet some of your pics will look similar to that with some editing though. 

    • donting

      It's surely got to be a multitude of factors. There is no single factor


      However if i may indulge myself: For me, having no training or perticular skills i can safely say the gear does all the work. In addition, the situation (subject) is also key. I don't have the time or inclination for any training in shooting or post processing, whatever comes out is what it is and I'll pick what I think is the best. What I shoot is made infinitely better due to using top gear. It's not like guitar where you have a $5000 guitar and $5000 amp with $5000 worth of effects (not actually uncommon) and in the wrong hands sound like shit, and a $100 guitar and $100 can sound great in the right hands.. Of course there is always exceptions to the rule but on the whole using top gear in photography for random shoots waking around town or on vacation will make any piece of shit look good, and I mean literally if I took a shot of a piece of dog shit on the floor, the picture quality and vibrancy will be absolutely marvellous on my 7D and 70-200L 2.8 mk2, it's just a fact. So in the right hands it'll make the world of difference. Kanon (poster on here) has gotten hold of some of my pics on the old forum and what she has done with post processing has been night and day. The same would be said if she did something to the ones I just posted. And then the originals you saw would look even more ameture. So it's a heap of factors, not entirely gear but in my case the gear does the work for me, and being in the right place helps. Me and my wife are in Tibet as i write this, and I took the below on my iPhone as an example just 5 minutes ago (I have a Chinese sim and 3G so I still have internets..). If you're wondering why i'm reading the boards, it's because i'm all templed out for the day and frankly a bit bored.










      The above is just an unedited iPhone(5) pic. IMO this picture is potentially interesting, as it is not as common as a sharp image of a dilapidated apartment block down the street from where you live, or an artsy picture of a coke can with lots of post processing. thats where the subject matter comes into play. But if I were to take this same pic on my 7D with 24-70L (which I did not bring on this trip) it would be infinitely better, and better still if someone post processed it properly. The foundation however is the gear.


      Edit: now i'm back at the hotel and seen it on the 'big screen', I think there is a limit to how good this pic could be using an iphone even in the hands of a professional photographer. The sky would still be noisy, the colours would be dull, the lines would not be sharp, and there is an overal lack of vibrancy and '3Dness'. a skillful hand in post processing will yeild 'more' vibrant colours and clear away some of the noise, but it result still would't be anything special, and there will be plenty more of where that came from on instragram. Good gear is key IMO.



      Note: I am a fan of 'gear' in general, so I am bias. 

    • ChainOfThought



      Here's a couple of the originals from the first set I posted.  Definitely a huge difference.  I do agree with most of what Ting said, with one big exception.  Where he says, "The foundation however is the gear." I would say the foundation is the subject.  Sure, you can take a badass camera & lens and any picture you take is going to have awesome detail and be a 'good' picture in terms of definable characteristics like sharpness & contrast.  However, its still a 'good' picture of a 'pile of shit.'  If you have no idea how to capture the image you want, taking into consideration things like perspective and lighting, then your pictures aren't going to be interesting no matter how 'good' they technically are.  It'd be like listening to your favorite guitarist (Carpenter?) practising scales.  Sure, it'd be interesting for a minute or two, and there'd be the wow factor involved....after about the 2 minute mark though, you'd be gouging your ears out.

      For the guitar analogy, I'd say having good gear and not knowing how to take good pictures would be similar to having good gear & good chops but having zero sense of phrasing or how to put a solid riff together.

      Your gear does make a HUGE difference; investments into your camera body/lens will give you a greater return in the hobby than investments in better amps & guitars & shit in that hobby.  However, I would say its like 50% knowing what picture to take, 45% equipment and 5% post-processing.  Although the post-processing % might go up while 'knowing what picture to take' or equipment goes down.


    • ChainOfThought

      Here's a couple of yours with some basic processing.  Pretty much the same shit I did to all of mine, just iPhoto stuff.  I like the one of the mask on the table.




    • donting

      Chain you are right, I agree with you. I minced my words a bit as I'm posting from my phone on a mountain. Clearly the foundation if a good picture is the subject, but as Buddhas question (seen a lot of buddas today as it happens!) was to do with image quality. Ie "how do you guys get such clear and rich photos", to me the subject is irrelevant for a clear and rich photo, As you can have a clear and rich photo of a dog turd, which is why IMO the foundation is the gear. Lighting and all those bits and pieces yes, but as I noted, I have no knowledge of such things and it doesn't affect my pics negatively, as the gear does all that automatically, I just delete the shit pics. Most of the good lighting etc is by chance.


      in reference to buddas question specifically, I'm sticking with gear. But in general, then of course it's subject

    • ChainOfThought

      Ahhhh you're right.  You answered his question, I talked about whatever the fuck I wanted to   good point.  In that case I would agree too.


      Do you take all your pics on the auto setting?  I've found I can get good pictures that way and I use it if I'm just taking walkabout pics, but when it comes to actually trying to capture what I'm seeing the way I want it to appear in the image I have to go manual.  In which case a basic understanding of the settings are needed.  I still don't know shit about photography and don't mean to sound like my opinion is based on vast experience or knowledge, just what I've learned from dicking around with my first DSLR.


      right now I just know enough that I feel like I can get pretty good pictures out of my D5100, but I definitely am gasing for a full frame body instead, like (I believe) your 7D is.

    • donting

      The 7D isn't full frame, only the 5Ds and 1Ds. I'd love a 5D mk3 but couldn't justify the cost, and I think the 7D is better than the 5D mk2 even though it's not full frame. I prefer the features but some will disagree.


      i use the manual mode exclusively as I've got used to it. Generally if I'm not getting under maximum 800 ISO with a decent shutter speed then I won't waste my time taking the pic. TV mode Is ok but I still prefer to tweak on the fly. I never got the hang of AV mode as my shutter speeds were always out of whack, I don't know why it's a good mode to be in. Auto is crap on the 7D as it engages the flash wherever possible for some reason and engages some disgusting ISOs unless you're literally in blazing mid day. Shutter speed recognition is also crap for moving objects like people etc. So manual only for me even though my choices might not always be correct (they are probably always wrong actually!). The 7D can do a shit load of stuff it's a good body, I don't Utalize it anywhere near as much but the image quality it produces is why I want it.

    • donting

      And the weather proofing. 

    • ChainOfThought

      Gotcha.  We bought ours kind of as an impulse so I didn't research much beyond 'do I want the Canon or the Nikon that costs X amount.'  And then the Nikon was on sale, so the research wasn't of import anyways   (I had picked out the Nikon ahead of time anyways, for the record)


      That 'blazing mid-day light' is just about the only time I'm OK with auto-mode as well.  Otherwise I get the same results...shutter speed/ISO/aperature settings all kinds of whack compared to what I feel like would be a better picture.  When I DO use auto though I just make sure to keep it on the 'no flash' setting.  That way at least it won't engage that.  I'm sure flash is very useful in a lot of situations....so far I haven't found any setting where I'd rather use flash than set a longer shutter speed or adjust other settings.  I have found that I can actually take pretty good pictures between 1-2000 ISO if absolutely necessary.  Definitely doesn't get as noisy as fast as I remember my first P&S cameras back in the day.  I used to stick with auto more because I didn't know I could set my own shortcut buttons for adjustments, so ISO and I think one other thing I could only change by going into menu's which took way too damn long...now I can change everything with a button/wheel combo so its much easier.


      Weather proof sounds like exactly what I need.  I'm so worried about my camera over here, particularly during the summer.  I'm sure you've dealt with it...the heat/humidity being so bad outside that your lense & screen fog to shit as soon as you step outside and the whole camera actually feels like its producing condensation.  I dunno how bad that is on all the components...I've kind of been ignorance-is-blissing it and going with the logic that they MUST be built to withstand shit like that


      I've been kind of wanting to ask though...why a 70-200mm lens?  Not because I'm questioning your choices, but because I'm wondering if I'm missing something.  I've got a 10-20, 18-55 & 55-300.  I've seen a couple 70-200 that looked pretty nice, I just can't figure out if there would be any real reason to carry it around assuming the picture quality isn't like twice as good as the 55-300 is...  If I could find like a 10-200, I think I'd be in heaven for a walking around lens

    • donting

      I think you will be fine regarding weather proofing, i agree i'm sure they're made to withstand plenty. When i bought mine originally i was using it specifically on a construction site in a country (Azerbaijan) with extremely strong winds, and during the summer a lot of grit in the air. In addition you can comfortably shoot in the rain. As you can imagine construction sites can be extremely dirty places so i wanted to be safe rather than sorry. It comes in handy in the kind of places i go as they are very jungle-esq more than half the time. 


      Regarding the lenses, the bigger gap you go in terms of zoom the bigger the drop in picture quality goes. The smaller the zoom range on the whole gets you closer to what prime lens image quality can yield. talking very generally here. Outside of a studio on the whole prime lenses are not always that useful, so a zoom is nessesary. I have a 24-70L 2.8 which is ideal for landscape and buildings, but can do portrait at 70 if need be, and a 70-200L IS 2.8 (II) which is portrait heaven for places like markets and weddings; so most of my range is covered, I dont feel i need any wider, and i dont need any zoom(ier). I have a 50 1.4 prime as well for shits and giggles. If i had 2 bodies the 24-70 and 70-200 would be all i'd ever need, i don't have lens gas other than for primes (of which i do not need, but i'd love a 85L for fun, an absolutely fuck off lens if there ever was one). and for reference, the 70-200L IS 2.8 mk2 is probably the best zoom lens ever made.





    • ChainOfThought

      Ahh that makes sense.  My 55-300 does well enough at both ends of the zoom range, but its definitely not razor sharp at 300mm.  I have used it to get some pretty cool shots of seaguls in flight while sitting on a beach though.


      Lens gas is a problem for me right now  I bought the 10-20 wide angle recently and I'm digging it.  Definitely some distortion in the edges (noticeable in the picture of the Mosque) but not too bad.  That thing is GREAT for indoors, market areas & other such places where you don't get much chance to take 10 steps back from your subject to get the whole thing in frame.  I bought it thinking I'd like it more for landscapes and things like that, but its turning out I like it more for the up-close stuff.  What I DEFINITELY want right now though is a macro lens or two.  Haven't decided if I'll go with the Nikkor brand or get a Tamron/Sigma, but I will definitely be getting one sooner than later, probably 80mm or higher.  I had the 60mm Nikkor-Micro for a night and loved the quality, but you had to get so close to the subject to get a full-frame macro shot of it that the lens would cast a shadow from the flash.  I want something more like 80 or 120 so I can be 12" away and still get a full frame shot of say a bug or something.


      The picture in Jordan with the blue painting of waves & birds on the side of the building & the picture of the water fountain with the mosque in the background were both taken at 300mm.  The picture of the water crashing over the concrete step with the lightpost reflected on the step was at 55 (with the 55-300) for some examples of that lens.  For the most part it looks fantastic as long as you aren't trying to crop out a portion of the picture and then blow it up to full size, then you start to see some lack of definition.

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