I'm learning manual settings for high shutter speeds at the moment, trying to capture birds in action. However, the weather hasn't been very good. The faster the shutter, the darker the image, so I had to compensate by increasing the ISO - which makes the photos dottier / noisier / smudgier, just so that the photo would be bright enough to be visible. What I really need is a 'bright' 'fast' lens, with telephoto zoom. These photos were just a small bit of a bigger photo, and I cropped around the bird. So, detail isn't great, and it's dotty / noisy, but I did manage to capture and freeze-frame the birds in flight!
Luckily, the graininess of the image isn't visible when small, so printed at a normal 3 x 5 photo size, it would still look really great. The image quality loss is only noticeable as the image gets bigger (such as on a large monitor or a poster)
Edit: Not sure what's up with the colours, but putting photos on Blogger, it seems like Blogger is 'auto adjusting' the images or something rather than displaying them natural. It's particularly noticeable on the two purple flowers and the photo at the bottom, which look completely different on other sites outside of blogger, and in my photo editing programs. I think I'll probably be sticking to hosting my photos on Flickr now as things look fine on there and it gathers my favourite photos together for easy viewing. Anyway, if anyone wants to view me on Flickr, just go to this address: www.flickr.com/photos/tsmpaul/
I want to do a photography course, and the prerequisite was ownership of a DSLR. I was tempted to jump right in with a big expensive camera, but I decided that if I complete the course, I will upgrade, but that I would start off on a budget. So I found a second hand Canon EOS 600D with 18-55mm IS lens and a bunch of free accessories thrown in, and it's been lots of fun today trying it out around the house and the garden.
The thing I like the most, is that so far all shots are hand held - usually for this sort of thing I'd be using a tripod, but it's so much faster at taking photos than my previous cameras, and also - with point and shoots, the more you zoom, the further back you have to step from things to be able to focus. For example, at long zoom with the G1X you can't be closer than 1.5 meters. But with the 18-55mm IS kit lens on the 600D DSLR, I can stay at 25cm at all times. Changing the zoom didn't affect the focusing - that meant I could zoom in the full amount on a flower (or a bee!) without having to step back from the subject.
Anyway, I'm really loving this camera!
As usual, I played around in Lightroom after taking the photos. Mostly it's just adding a touch of Clarity Slider, and if it was 800 or so ISO, I reduced the image's noise as well if it was noticeable.
This impressed me - a bee shot, full zoom, handheld! And it's still pretty sharp!
I think this shot of the purple flowers in the garden (which I love taking photos of) is my favourite from today.
So I'm doing proper panoramas now :) Before I was just taking the highest res photos my camera could do, and then cropping the top and bottom off, so they looked like a panorama shape, but now I'm taking multiple photos, using measured rotation angles, and stitching them together, then touching up the final image, to make images that are huge compared to the photos I've done previously. It means I can print out a panorama at A1 paper size with my current camera, and have ultra detail in the print, whereas before I was printing at A3 and there'd still be a hint of blurriness to the print. So the new method is a lot of fun, a little more time consuming, but I am enjoying the results.
This photo is almost 10,000 pixels wide at its original size (my monitor is only 1,920 pixels wide, so it's a LOT bigger than my screen!), but I shrunk the panorama and compressed it a little as a jpg to display a copy on this blog.
I love the detail level and sharpness in the full size image, and can't wait to see it printed out :) Of course, now I've got to spend more time and effort finding some good scenes to capture in this way. Today was a bit dreary and cloudy and gray, so this photo was more of a test run for getting the method worked out.
So today I thought I'd experiment with some reflections and hdr'ing, when I walked past my parent's kitchen bench and saw a vase and flowers reflected on its surface. Took lots of shots with exposure bracketing, and some merging in Dynamic HFR Photo Plus 5, and these are the two that I liked how they turned out.