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The TPU Darkroom - Digital SLR and Photography Club

the54thvoid

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Early morning walk, spotted a cool power thingy. It's got a filter on which makes it look a bit 60's.

Reminds me of something from half-life.

DSCF6122.jpg
 
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Early morning walk, spotted a cool power thingy. It's got a filter on which makes it look a bit 60's.

Reminds me of something from half-life.
I love stuff like that. Spent a lot of time as a kid roaming industrial parks, looking for abandoned facilities and gawking at all of the odd-looking structures and objects. Wish I could go back in time and hand myself a camera. Trespassing is a lot less appealing when you're 30 :/

Good on you for getting out to take some photos though. I think I will do the same next weekend. It's been too long since I've gotten to get out and just walk around and there's only so much to practice on at home. I've mostly been sticking to the cat, because those are the shots I still struggle a lot with and it's something I can do any time, just so I don't get TOO rusty. Gets old, but never gets easier.

If only I knew what she was seeing out there...
IMG_1791-2.jpg
IMG_1797-2.jpg
IMG_1799-2.jpg


One day, I will get that perfect shot of the cat being wild. It's difficult though! The light in the house isn't really very suitable unless you're shooting wide open. She's very social so if you get even a little close, she stops and directs all of her attention on you. Meaning I'm using my tele out at 200mm, where minimum aperture is a less ideal f/6.3. Almost wish I went back where it was f/4.5 and cropped, just to get the light. She moves around constantly, so I need to be able to frame up quickly and get that steady shot. Not as easy to do further back with a fully extended tele to wield. Harder to hold stable, easy to overfill the frame. I will say, I have little issue getting focus right. Servo/continuous is trustworthy on this camera. I just squeeze the back button to lock when I press the shutter and it just works every time. It's moving the camera around to fit her in and dropping the focus box on her right before that quick shutter press that's tricky. I can pretty much guarantee focus, but with the movement it's hard to get her framed-up in time. I only have a second or two before she moves again.

Tried to clean them up as best as I could. The noise at ISO 6400 REALLY starts to eat up color, contrast, and detail. Don't let the exposure deceive... the light in the room is very dim (for a camera) and the light coming from the windows is the little bit you get from dark, cloudy skies. I was out at 200mm trying to get shots at 1/80s in order to not hit insane ISO levels. Add that to the difficulty of getting fast, steady shots. This lens does have IS to help, but that's still wayy pushing the limit of what it can make up for. 1/80s is way to slow to catch her mid movement and much harder for me to keep steady for. So it was like... try to put the camera where she'll stop next, tweak framing, lock focus the moment she stops, take the shot before she moves again, and do not move the camera at all while doing so. Everything has to happen so fast!

I am NOT happy with how bad I am at that :laugh: I think the next time I'm met with this, I'm gonna chimp it hardcore. I was trying to hold the camera out and use thge screen, but it only made it harder. Coulda used the stability moving my whole body with the camera planted to my face. Not to mention, the left side of the touchscreen controls AF point when chimping... I really didn't think about what I was doing. I need a lot more practice with this tele, and really just on moving subjects in general. Been spoiling myself with tripods and static subjects a bit too much.

Can't really complain about the performance at ISO 6400, I suppose. Could probably do 3x5's or 4x6's and have them look good. They're not totally unusable. Quite unlike my old T3i, which completely falls apart past ISO 1600. I usually avoid going over 1600 to this day, just from horrible disappointment in the past. This is the first time I've ever intentionally shot that high up. Not ideal, but way better than expected! The color noise is really just starting to creep in. Shadows wash out a bit, too. But it's not surgery, fixing those sorts of things. I think some of that haze might actually be due to lack of a hood for this lens.


EDIT: One other thing I noticed at 6400 that I'm sure pros know well, but I never see talked about... but color shift from reduced color depth. I'm not talking about color noise... that gets talked about enough with high ISO. I'm talking about the whole pallette drifting. In these, I mostly fixed it, but it's like wide CA or something. Shadows turn a little magenta and highlights turn green. In all of these photos, her white fur had a sickly green glow from the light outside. While her body was looking quite pink. My answer was to warm-up the color temp, drop the magenta, and then shift the tint back towards it. Just cutting the green saturation wasn't an option because her eyes were green, while very little is actually magenta, making it safer to cut. In the first shot, you can still see it - look under her chin for the green. Really everywhere that light hits is auspiciously green... when there's nothing green reflecting out there. I didn't want to push it too far. But I feel like it should've been blue if anything, even with the color temp dialed for the warm interior light instead of the much cooler cloudy day light.

I'm betting that ruins skin though! Might actually be the worst thing about high ISO shooting. It really messes with me... something I think I've always felt, but never saw it for what it was. Very strange. I'm guessing that as you crank the iso and color depth drops, places where the actual color doesn't fit wind up swinging out one way or another, seemingly depending on luminance, as it's the blacks and whites that start taking on the most prominent tint shifts. Ever try high iso in really low light? What I've always gotten were big purple splotches in the dark areas. Why are they purple? Something to do with how LR guesses on the noise makes it guess purple too much instead of desaturating as you would expect in dark areas? An anomaly of demosaicing? Is it all happening between sensor and conversion? Maybe a biproduct of reduced DR? I've always thought of DR as being contrast depth, but I suppose that would also include color!
 
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the54thvoid

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Out for a morning walk - in the habit of always bringing camera - you never know what you might see. There was a heron fishing when out of the bushes, a colourful chappy slinks into frame. A better photogrpaher would have dropped the F number to get more in focus and framed the heron better. But hell, I was just out for a walk!

DSCF6497.jpg
 
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I have a Nikon D5500 DSLR with only a 50MM lens. I have zero idea how to take pictures with it or how to get such good photos.

I need you Gurus to teach me.
 

the54thvoid

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I have a Nikon D5500 DSLR with only a 50MM lens. I have zero idea how to take pictures with it or how to get such good photos.

I need you Gurus to teach me.

This is not false modesty but I am not a guru. I walk this walk most days and know where things could be. My wife and I scour for animals and such. I've got a decent APS-C camera (Fuji X-T30) and I bought some second hand lenses. The nature ones are pretty much all on my 100-400mm Fuji lens, more often always at 400mm reach. That makes it an instant F5.6, so light needs to be good. It wasn't so I'm up at about 1600 ISO, with shutter speed at 1/250.
Then it goes into Capture One photo editor. Some folk would say it's cheating but it's not - a jpeg is already a software construct of what the processor thinks is suitable. So, l'll always shoot jpeg and RAW so I can post-process.

Heres' the original photo (JPEG)...

In fairness, I didn't need to do a lot on this one. A little exposure compensation and HDR changes.

DSCF6497 copy.JPG
 
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I have a Nikon D5500 DSLR with only a 50MM lens. I have zero idea how to take pictures with it or how to get such good photos.

I need you Gurus to teach me.


Which 50mm lens? The AF-S 1.8 G?

I have the D7200
 
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IMG_20200526_193314_756.jpg

just dig in old photos and i find this one, not the best since it has a lot of noises and lack of detail

just run it through photoshop and lightroom :D :D :D
 
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Looks like a painting. I like it

Dunno it came with the camera. Will check

Well if its a prime lens meaning a fixed focal length, its the best way to learn photography. Takes one decision out of the equation allowing you to work with just aperture, speed an focus (depth of field)
 

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The 50/1.8G is a fantastic lens. Just as long as you have literally any version of Photoshop or LR that can 1-click correct the distortion, it's perfect. TBH I like it even better on the APS-C cameras like the D5500, the roughly 80mm focal length on crop feels more natural than its native 50 on my FX.
 
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The 50/1.8G is a fantastic lens. Just as long as you have literally any version of Photoshop or LR that can 1-click correct the distortion, it's perfect. TBH I like it even better on the APS-C cameras like the D5500, the roughly 80mm focal length on crop feels more natural than its native 50 on my FX.
I feel the same about the Canon nifty fifty v2. I have lenses that are better than it in every way, but at the same time it has never let me down, it focuses quick, has lots of light gathering, and on a crop body the added squeeze gives you a lot of pleasing framing opportunities. *Juuusst* enough to squish the background and make something pop, but not so much that you can't move back and bring an interesting backdrop more into the frame. Super easy to work with. It's light, so it's easy to manipulate/steady, and the wide aperture helps with that too. When I was starting off, having all of that light was a big help in trying to keep the ISO down while still keeping shutter speeds higher while I was still learning how to focus fast and get steady shots.

I have a Nikon D5500 DSLR with only a 50MM lens. I have zero idea how to take pictures with it or how to get such good photos.

I need you Gurus to teach me.
Haha, buttering us up. :laugh: I know you're not talking about me lmao, but in my bumbling I've learned a few things. I started off on film and full manual, where you can't change sensitivity on the fly, and I was trying to force in my head an understanding of the exposure triangle by making myself dial everything in for each shot. Maybe that works for some people, but for me it just slowed me down and made it harder to focus on composition. Now, I will shoot manual, but only because it's the best way to get a specific combination of factors, that I know I need for the shot I want to take. Don't force yourself to do everything. Learn things one thing at a time, let the camera help you. All of those settings and features aren't there to be ignored. Anything it can do to make your job easier is another tool in your bag. And anything in your process that your camera can do for you instead, is something slowing you down or taking away from other more important decisions, which sometimes need to happen very quickly.

Aperture priority mode is a good start. You control the light gathering and DOF. Set the ISO where you want it to be and let it determine the shutter speed. It'll take some trial and error to figure out the right ISO range for different situations, but no matter what mode you use, you need to know that if you don't want to wind up with poor quality images at the wrong time, whether because of artifacts, or being locked into too slow of a shutter speed. It is the thing most likely to directly or indirectly ruin your shots. Most cameras will let you use auto ISO in aperture priority mode, and it'll give you the ISO you need to have a 'safe' shutter speed. You can try that, too. On still subjects, it gives you easier, more direct control over how the image looks, so you can experiment with framing and get a feel for finding the right DOF, as well as how a camera sees light. You worry about that and the camera does the rest.

That might be one of the most important things to learn about taking nicer-looking pictures. Take note of the light in your setting and how it hits things in the scene, and then compare that to what the camera spits out when you press the shutter. That was such a big thing for me, making that connection intuition. Until you've worked that out, there will be a million pictures where you'll be asking yourself "Why does it look like that?" It's because a camera sees light very differently from how you see it. And as you play around with aperture and ISO it starts making more sense. It's really important, sometimes you just gotta know how something is going to translate in the moment. It's gonna tell you where the shot is and how you dial it in.

DOF is similar. It's one of those things you have to know. It seems simple but it's not so easy to control. My understanding of it isn't even that concrete. I've learned to envision it as a flat plane... a rectangle cutting across the image and feathering out both ways across the focal line. Or maybe like a soft lightsaber beam, where anything in its path will be in varying degrees of focus. When you choose the focal point, you draw a line across the image, and the closer something is to that line, the sharper it will be. From there, you have to tie that in with the numbers, so you can kinda know what aperture range will give you the focal depth needed at that angle. How wide of a beam do you need and which way should it point? By manipulating the position and angle of that line (moving the camera or changing focus) you can open up all sorts of compositional assets which employ the focal plane as part of the whole composition, and not just slicing out the subject. It comes with time, for me it clicked just by keeping it in mind as a shot. It's easiest shooting on a tripod, because you have everything else locked in and can quickly cycle through, looking for the sweet spot... until one day you find you just know. It's sort of like making a surgical incision, you want to line it up just right in one go, and leave the rest.

That's the other reason... all lenses have sweet spots where the color, contrast, and sharpness will be the best, which you'll want to know for when you need those more than other things.

Composition, I think is another one of those things that just takes time. You have to figure out what looks pleasing to you. I think of it as lines and gradients. I'm breaking the image into those things, and then trying to arrange them in the most pleasing way I can think of. There's really just so much to break into when talking about the rules of composition. The simplest way to put it, is that there's a yin/yang with regards to color, weighting, depth, light, angle, juxtaposition, and so on. As you shoot, try to identify one or two and note how altering those changes the impact of the image. Just do this as many ways as possible. The composition that manifests from the shot is ultimately simple - it's intuitively pleasing and you can see exactly why, even if you can't figure out the how of the why. But figuring this out is a matter of combining the right compositional aspects. It's a balancing of all of the main aspects of that photo. The balance is complex, the outcome is simple. Start looking at photos you like and think about what they did that made it so pleasing to look at, and then start trying stuff.

I mean, you may not figure it out that way, but you'll see where you suck, or what doesn't work, and that's a start.

So maybe take it slow in Av mode. Take your time with each shot. Shoot raw and edit them... not because it's 'needed' but because as you edit, you're going to see where your weaknesses are and how to get the right exposure next time, or where on the subject to focus, or how much DOF you need.

As you get comfortable there, you might go into what I call 'semi-manual' mode. You keep the camera in manual, but run auto ISO. So you set whatever shutter speed AND aperture you want, while the camera makes sure the exposure comes out. It's a lot easier for moving subjects, or if you're hand holding for quick shots. Set a speed you can hold steady, or that stops motion if you want, dial in your aperture for lighting and DOF, and the camera gets the right exposure for you. It's a pretty versatile and simple way to operate.

Basically, try one of those two modes and get shooting!
 
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@sepheronx +1 to all the above advice. I started on P mode, where Aperture and Shutter are manually adjustable but slaved to each other in fixed "pairs" of settings dependent on exposure settings. Its a better way to learn aperture than Auto. Especially with the 50/1.8G which can make insanely soft backgrounds at f/2.8-4, but also crystal clear detailed photos at f/16. I've never fallen out of love with the 1.8G since the day I bought it.

After a while I moved to A, which is pretty much the same thing except it opens up Aperture to be set manually, still dependent on exposure. P, S and A are all still handholding modes because within reason, the camera will not allow you to over/under-expose to the point of a completely white or completely black photo.

Then at some point you'll naturally go to full Manual, but don't feel like you have to based on pressure from others. It'll come naturally when you feel like you want more control over the exposure in your photos, because there's only so much that LR or PS can do. I pretty much just shoot manual these days, but that's only because I usually stay indoors nowadays and have all the time in the world to set up my shots of inanimate objects. I don't know how y'all do nature shots of jumpy animals on M mode :respect:
 

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I don't know how y'all do nature shots of jumpy animals on M mode :respect:

I've learned about these things from online blogs. The main things to consider are (always): light and background (composition). Moving targets need a fast shutter speed. For birds I try at least 1/1000 but opt for 1/2000. That's where the light comes in. At that shutter speed you need a higher ISO with decent light, so in poor light it's pretty much hopeless. It's made worse if, like me, you find it's safer for focus to shoot at something like f/9. So, 1/2000 and f/9 with cloud? Aye Carumba, I've had ISO at 6400. Don't look so good on a monitor...

As for focusing - you need to use AF-C so the motors adjust all the time to what you're pointing at. If you're not good at tracking, you can use zone-focussing but if your K:D in pubg or COD is 10:1, you can probably track the target on a single point focus. I use zone focussing. And finally - for moving objects - you need to use continuous shutter modes (CL or CH on my camera). Just be aware, spamming the continuous shutter release will backlog the processor and at some point you'll have to stop shooting. I think that's one of the fundamental differences between a good and a really good camera.

Photography's also about finding cool stuff. This morning, I saw a Bluetit fly into a wall (actually turned out to be a gap in the stairs between the stone block and the wall). On closer inspection, there was a nest inside. And a rather dishevelled mother....

DSCF6549.jpg



And this is poor composition (I think). The bird is lost against the foam and spray behind. But I liked the mirror image.

DSCF6540.jpg
 

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Sorry for the spam... But I got a crow in flight at a weird 2-D angle. Just wish its beady eyes were glinting. Image is cropped in - there was a lot of blue sky...

400mm (600 equiv) f/5.6 1/2000 and ISO 250. Super sunny day @ 25 Degrees C.

DSCF6648.jpg


More spam added May 30th.

It just doesn't feel like this is the River Clyde near Glasgow.

DSCF6716_1.jpg
 
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Power Supply 750W Cooler Master sfx
Software Windows 11
Staff member spamming? Uh oh

:p

So these are all photos in Glasgow? You sure live in a very beautiful area. I'm jealous.

Love your photos. When I get time and I get my camera all laid out (in its bag currently) I'll be asking you guys for assistance if you don't mind. The D5500 is fantastic but so many options and my brain can't comprehend it.
 

the54thvoid

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Staff member spamming? Uh oh

:p

So these are all photos in Glasgow? You sure live in a very beautiful area. I'm jealous.

Love your photos. When I get time and I get my camera all laid out (in its bag currently) I'll be asking you guys for assistance if you don't mind. The D5500 is fantastic but so many options and my brain can't comprehend it.

I live near a highway (as you guys would say) and the photos don't show the trash. I think it's what makes photography appealing - you can zone out of what's actually there to focus on the things that make it feel like a better place. FWIW, I've been to BC, Canada in 2017 and 2019 (going back 2021) and it took my heart. I know you're in Alberta, but I was in Jasper and that's a beautiful place too. You got it better over there. I envy you.
 

tabascosauz

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I live near a highway (as you guys would say) and the photos don't show the trash. I think it's what makes photography appealing - you can zone out of what's actually there to focus on the things that make it feel like a better place. FWIW, I've been to BC, Canada in 2017 and 2019 (going back 2021) and it took my heart. I know you're in Alberta, but I was in Jasper and that's a beautiful place too. You got it better over there. I envy you.

Yeah, I know we're the best, what are you waiting for, move over here already :p

Some knob introduced the Asian giant hornet to our shores last year and these fuckers have been popping up all over metro Van this year. I don't know how many beautiful seasons we have left with these guys around. Honeybees and bumblebees are right now making a surprisingly furious rebound this year so we can only hope that they'll survive this. Now if these fuzzy bois can just hold still for the camera...
 

the54thvoid

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Went out with brother, niece, dog and mum. Took opportunity to 'compose' a dog portrait. All planned and it went swimmingly. :D

DSCF6930.jpg
 
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IMG_20200604_191114.jpg

Found this little fella surrounded by kids on a lawn behind my apartment block. Contacted animal rescue, they told me to put him back where I found him. So I did, well at least I put him on a big tree so that some stray cat will have to put some effort into finding him. Will check later if his situation improved but I didn't see any of his kind flying around. He can stretch his wings but he's yet to learn how to fly. Here's hoping he'll make it.
 

the54thvoid

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Photos below are taken with the iPhone 11. I curious what the camera was capable of.

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IMG_0046.JPG
 

the54thvoid

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Bit of a curve ball - working on a little project...

D&D pic copy.png
 
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Since all the human models need to wear a face mask, I have to choose different model to keep my camera ticking:roll:

K3IM8786_C (1195x1280).jpg
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K3IM8816 (1280x851).jpg
 
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Benchmark Scores Look in the various benchmark threads
IMG_1289.jpg
IMG_1294.jpg
IMG_1314.jpg
IMG_1317.jpg

Just a small selection of photos taken over the last few months
 
Joined
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Memory Kingston HyperX DDR3 1866 16GB + Patriot Memory DDR3 1866 16GB
Video Card(s) Asus R9 290 OC @ GPU - 1050, MEM - 1300
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Case AeroCool XPredator X3
Audio Device(s) Built-in Realtek
Power Supply Corsair HX1000 Modular
Software Windows 10 Pro 64 bit
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