First attempts with new camera.

Johnny Thunder

Active Member
Hi everyone.
I have just bought myself a Canon EOS 350D, which is an upgrade from a Fuji "bridge" camera.
The family decided to have a day out yesterday, and ended up at High Force.
I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to have a go with the camera, and play around with some settings ie. aperture and shutter speeds.
After viewing the results, I need to learn a lot more and go back for a second visit to get better pictures.
I have no knowledge of manual settings, except for some advice which was given to me on these forums a few months ago.

Basically, what I am hoping for, is honest, brutal advice on how I should have approached the photography.
The conditions were overcast and dull.

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Thank you for any advice you can give me.



John.
 

Stu284

Active Member
Hi mate, photos look pretty good to me :thumbsup:
i also just ordered a 350D as my first dslr, can not wait for it to arrive now :)
 

denno75uk

Well-known Member
For a first attempt with the Canon they look pretty good. The compositions are generally ok, articularly the ones of the kids and the wider aspect waterfall ones.
Obviously the weather was a big downer for photography, but a bit of tweaking on the computer could improve contrast and colour to make them sing a bit more.
Chaps who know more about it than I will hopefully comment, but the main thing I'd say for these shots is tripod. The dull weather seems to have limited the shutter speed quite a bit (although seeing the stats would help). The first shot looks like it might be suffering a bit from the limits of hand holding and with a trpod you could have afforded a bit more exposure to really make the water smooth. There is the whole business of filters for long exposure work though.
All in- deffo on the right road.:thumbsup:
 

T0MAT01

Well-known Member
All in- deffo on the right road.:thumbsup:

Agreed, these look good... especially for a first attempt.

What I would say is that the water has 'blown out' to white in the second to last shot. What you can do to avoid that is press the info button when you display the image on the LCD screen and any burnt out areas will flash between black and white. When you see it doing that you can simply dial in a little exposure compensation to underexpose the shot a bit and re-take it, hopefully this time capturing more detail in the highlight areas.
 

Johnny Thunder

Active Member
I tried to give the water that silky smooth effect in some of the pictures by slowing the shutter speed down.
I think, as a result of that, the camera has altered the aperture.
As a whole, I thought the pictures were all too dark. Would a higher ISO have made any difference to the brightness?

Thank you for all the comments so far.


John.
 

kevin glover

Active Member
Johnny,
A higer ISO value will give you a faster shutter speed to work with but this will have a negative effect on two counts:
1. You will then "freeze" the flow of the water which opposes what you are after with "silky smooth" water.
2. A higer ISO value will introduce more grain/noise to the final image as a general rule of thumb.

In order to get the silky water that you refer to you need to use a long shutter speed, usually this calls for using ND(Neutral density) filters to cut down the light entering the camera lens thus giving a very long exposure, however you can do something similiar without buying filters by simply setting the smallest aperture, ie f22/32 in aperture priority mode which will then automatically give you the longest possible exposure, however on brighter, more contrasty days filters are still needed as the shutter speed can still be to fast to allow enough water to flow during the exposure.The other plus of using an ND filter is that you can still use wider apertures and thus throw the background out of focus which will draw attention to the water.
Oh yes, as previously stated you will need a tripod and a decent one at that to hold everything steady as most people struggle to hold an SLR steady below approx 60th second and ideally a cable release so you don't have to touch the camera to shoot the image. Hope this helps, you are on the right road though.
 

onefivenine

Well-known Member
Very nice shots here.

1) very nice backwards L composition in there. Perhaps an ND3 filter to turn the waterfall into a milky blur. then a reposition and recompose to perfect the shot.

2) lose the legs, step nack a bit, again an ND3 filter to blur ther water but otherwise spot on. Too much white at the edge can lead the eye out of frame so if possible less water on bottom edge.

3) looks nicely exposed. well balanced foreground and sky. Were you using ND grads?

4) nicely exposed again. eyes a bit dead. a little flash could have given them some catchlights.

5 & 6) One word - circularpolarizer - ok that's two words! Circular polarizer. It would remove the reflections on the water and wet rocks which have caused the shot to underexpose and the colours to be so muted.

7) An ND grad filter placed along the bottom sky and a flash for the eyes would make this perfect.


A great set of shots. Loads of potential. Keep shooting and posting :smashin:
Oh and get a circular polarizer! and some ND filters if you like blurry water and 'not blown out' skies! :thumbsup:
 

Johnny Thunder

Active Member
Thank you, I really appreciate the comments.

onefivenine, I don't know what ND grads are.:blush:
Any recommendations for a circular polariser and ND filters?


Thank you.


John.
 

kevin glover

Active Member
Thank you, I really appreciate the comments.

onefivenine, I don't know what ND grads are.:blush:
Any recommendations for a circular polariser and ND filters?


Thank you.


John.
Johnny,
ND grads are neutral density graduated filters that I alluded to in my previous post, these have a graduated degree of density to allow you to keep the sky and expose the water for long enough to become "milky".
 

dfrear

Active Member
I would also recommend you go for something like Cokin ND grads - I got an ND grad and holder/72mm adapter ring off eBay for just over a tenner in total. It's completely changed my landscape images - I would recommend them to anyone.
 

chrisbaker42

Active Member
I don't offer advice but thanks for the memories, I sat on the very rocks shown in No.2 with a wonderful girl 30 years ago (showing my age now).
 

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