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Steve
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      01-01-2008
Ok, I know I'm probably going to regret this but....

I just got a used Nikon D200 on ebay and bought the 18-200 VR zoom
lens and here is my first set of shots taken with it on a little
walkaround tour of New Hope, PA:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/sheliko...96709699/show/

There is no retouching or processing at all except for:

1) Straight conversion of some RAW files to JPG with PictureProject (a
few of the train photos were shot in RAW. The rest are from the
camera in JPG normal.)

2) Resizing, reducing the jpeg quality and rotating the vertical ones
(using PaintShopPro 9) from 10MP down to something reasonable for the
web.

Other than that, they're as from the camera. The in-camera settings
are almost all default except I changed the color saturation to
enhanced and mode to III. I just happen to like more vivid colors
rather than a washed out look. It may be a little too much but those
colorful buildings really are colorful when you see them in real life.

After the first few buildings and a bunch of the New Hope & Ivyland
railroad is my attempt at being creative. There was a store with a
bunch of Mannequins behind it. After I started taking pictures of
them, other people noticed them and did the same. Personally, I
really like a few of those manniquin shots. I also like some of the
ones of the kids going by in the train windows.

A few critical things I note myself right off the bat is that I'm bad
at keeping the camera horizontal. A lot of shots are a degree or
three tilted to the right. I know I can always fix that but the next
time I go out I'm going to try and pay more attention to orientation.
The camera is new to me and I have to get the "feel" of it.

Also, they definitly look better with a small amount of sharpening.
But I wanted to keep them looking as they did right from the camera. I
had the in-camera sharpening set to auto. I'll may change that so
it's one less thing I need to do with the computer. But that's not
really a big deal so maybe I'll leave it at auto.

Ok, the floor is open to comments. I'm always looking for
*constructive* criticism from people who are more experienced.

Thanks,

Steve
 
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aniramca@gmail.com
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Posts: n/a
 
      01-01-2008
I am not sure why what you did regret... showing the photos to this
NG, or buying the camera and lens?
I am not an expert, but I do like you selection of colour saturation
set up. I think those photos are great, as you did say that there is
no major processing in PS (except for resize and conversion). I can
see the good quality of the Nikon camera.
Thanks for sharing them with us (What part of PA is New Hope is
located? However, the pictures of the old and broken mannequins are
kinda creepy! Was that located in someone's front lawn?). Otherwise, I
like the colour composition, the contrast and tones of all of the
photos. I knew that this is a matter of taste. But, it is good to know
that you can adjust the colour saturation to the setting that I love
to see (without any "clean up" afterward).

Steve wrote:
> Ok, I know I'm probably going to regret this but....
>
> I just got a used Nikon D200 on ebay and bought the 18-200 VR zoom
> lens and here is my first set of shots taken with it on a little
> walkaround tour of New Hope, PA:
>
> http://www.flickr.com/photos/sheliko...96709699/show/
>
> There is no retouching or processing at all except for:
>
> 1) Straight conversion of some RAW files to JPG with PictureProject (a
> few of the train photos were shot in RAW. The rest are from the
> camera in JPG normal.)
>
> 2) Resizing, reducing the jpeg quality and rotating the vertical ones
> (using PaintShopPro 9) from 10MP down to something reasonable for the
> web.
>
> Other than that, they're as from the camera. The in-camera settings
> are almost all default except I changed the color saturation to
> enhanced and mode to III. I just happen to like more vivid colors
> rather than a washed out look. It may be a little too much but those
> colorful buildings really are colorful when you see them in real life.
>
> After the first few buildings and a bunch of the New Hope & Ivyland
> railroad is my attempt at being creative. There was a store with a
> bunch of Mannequins behind it. After I started taking pictures of
> them, other people noticed them and did the same. Personally, I
> really like a few of those manniquin shots. I also like some of the
> ones of the kids going by in the train windows.
>
> A few critical things I note myself right off the bat is that I'm bad
> at keeping the camera horizontal. A lot of shots are a degree or
> three tilted to the right. I know I can always fix that but the next
> time I go out I'm going to try and pay more attention to orientation.
> The camera is new to me and I have to get the "feel" of it.
>
> Also, they definitly look better with a small amount of sharpening.
> But I wanted to keep them looking as they did right from the camera. I
> had the in-camera sharpening set to auto. I'll may change that so
> it's one less thing I need to do with the computer. But that's not
> really a big deal so maybe I'll leave it at auto.
>
> Ok, the floor is open to comments. I'm always looking for
> *constructive* criticism from people who are more experienced.
>
> Thanks,
>
> Steve

 
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Steve
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      01-01-2008
Thanks for your comments. Glad you liked the pictures.

I said I'd regret it because, while I've only been reading this group
for a few days, I did look back on a lot of the old posts. What I saw
was a lot of bickering about what kind of camera is best and worst,
personal attacks, etc. etc. So I had misgivings about posting. I've
been through all kinds of "wars" in other groups but they were about
technical things. Photography is subjective and by posting pictures
here, you're putting yourself out on a limb so to speak. But I have
thick skin.

As for the camera and lens, I love it so far. The only issues I have
with my short time of using it is that, in my normal handling I keep
changing the focus selector from where I like it (single focus) to
continuous tracking. It would be nice if there was some kind of lock
for that switch since it's in a place where my left hand goes to
support the camera.

The other issue is that in dark settings with no flash, there are some
hot pixels. I can easily remove them with the scratch tool in PSP9
without affecting any other part of the picture like some automated
hot pixel removal tools do. I just choose a picture with some obvious
hot ones, record my steps in removing them in a script, and then I can
batch run that script for a lot of pictures at once since they are
always in the same place. It wasn't an issue in these pictures since
it's bright outdoors and they don't show up.

Other than that, it's great! I used to shoot SLR with film (my last
one was a Canon EOS Rebel) but for the last 4-5 years or so all I've
used is the little Canon S400 P&S camera. I still use that and like
it but this D200 is more camera then I've ever had so hopefully I'll
become good enough to take full advantage of what it can do.

As for your questions, New Hope is along the Delaware River about 20
miles or so north of Philadelphia. The mannequins were outside a
store that sells all kinds of strange stuff and collectables. The
funny sign on the figure is outside that store. There's a lot of
stores like that in New Hope. It's a thriving art/antique community.
The buildings I took are Lulu's and Fran's, where I eat lunch a lot.
Also John and Peters, where years ago I used to be in a band that
played there.

Steve

On Mon, 31 Dec 2007 17:04:08 -0800 (PST), http://www.velocityreviews.com/forums/(E-Mail Removed) wrote:

>I am not sure why what you did regret... showing the photos to this
>NG, or buying the camera and lens?
>I am not an expert, but I do like you selection of colour saturation
>set up. I think those photos are great, as you did say that there is
>no major processing in PS (except for resize and conversion). I can
>see the good quality of the Nikon camera.
>Thanks for sharing them with us (What part of PA is New Hope is
>located? However, the pictures of the old and broken mannequins are
>kinda creepy! Was that located in someone's front lawn?). Otherwise, I
>like the colour composition, the contrast and tones of all of the
>photos. I knew that this is a matter of taste. But, it is good to know
>that you can adjust the colour saturation to the setting that I love
>to see (without any "clean up" afterward).
>
>Steve wrote:
>> Ok, I know I'm probably going to regret this but....
>>
>> I just got a used Nikon D200 on ebay and bought the 18-200 VR zoom
>> lens and here is my first set of shots taken with it on a little
>> walkaround tour of New Hope, PA:
>>
>> http://www.flickr.com/photos/sheliko...96709699/show/
>>
>> There is no retouching or processing at all except for:
>>
>> 1) Straight conversion of some RAW files to JPG with PictureProject (a
>> few of the train photos were shot in RAW. The rest are from the
>> camera in JPG normal.)
>>
>> 2) Resizing, reducing the jpeg quality and rotating the vertical ones
>> (using PaintShopPro 9) from 10MP down to something reasonable for the
>> web.
>>
>> Other than that, they're as from the camera. The in-camera settings
>> are almost all default except I changed the color saturation to
>> enhanced and mode to III. I just happen to like more vivid colors
>> rather than a washed out look. It may be a little too much but those
>> colorful buildings really are colorful when you see them in real life.
>>
>> After the first few buildings and a bunch of the New Hope & Ivyland
>> railroad is my attempt at being creative. There was a store with a
>> bunch of Mannequins behind it. After I started taking pictures of
>> them, other people noticed them and did the same. Personally, I
>> really like a few of those manniquin shots. I also like some of the
>> ones of the kids going by in the train windows.
>>
>> A few critical things I note myself right off the bat is that I'm bad
>> at keeping the camera horizontal. A lot of shots are a degree or
>> three tilted to the right. I know I can always fix that but the next
>> time I go out I'm going to try and pay more attention to orientation.
>> The camera is new to me and I have to get the "feel" of it.
>>
>> Also, they definitly look better with a small amount of sharpening.
>> But I wanted to keep them looking as they did right from the camera. I
>> had the in-camera sharpening set to auto. I'll may change that so
>> it's one less thing I need to do with the computer. But that's not
>> really a big deal so maybe I'll leave it at auto.
>>
>> Ok, the floor is open to comments. I'm always looking for
>> *constructive* criticism from people who are more experienced.
>>
>> Thanks,
>>
>> Steve

 
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ransley
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      01-01-2008
On Dec 31 2007, 6:34*pm, Steve <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
> Ok, I know I'm probably going to regret this but....
>
> I just got a used Nikon D200 on ebay and bought the 18-200 VR zoom
> lens and here is my first set of shots taken with it on a little
> walkaround tour of New Hope, PA:
>
> http://www.flickr.com/photos/sheliko...96709699/show/
>
> There is no retouching or processing at all except for:
>
> 1) Straight conversion of some RAW files to JPG with PictureProject (a
> few of the train photos were shot in RAW. *The rest are from the
> camera in JPG normal.)
>
> 2) Resizing, reducing the jpeg quality and rotating the vertical ones
> (using PaintShopPro 9) from 10MP down to something reasonable for the
> web.
>
> Other than that, they're as from the camera. *The in-camera settings
> are almost all default except I changed the color saturation to
> enhanced and mode to III. *I just happen to like more vivid colors
> rather than a washed out look. *It may be a little too much but those
> colorful buildings really are colorful when you see them in real life.
>
> After the first few buildings and a bunch of the New Hope & Ivyland
> railroad is my attempt at being creative. *There was a store with a
> bunch of Mannequins behind it. *After I started taking pictures of
> them, other people noticed them and did the same. *Personally, I
> really like a few of those manniquin shots. *I also like some of the
> ones of the kids going by in the train windows.
>
> A few critical things I note myself right off the bat is that I'm bad
> at keeping the camera horizontal. *A lot of shots are a degree or
> three tilted to the right. *I know I can always fix that but the next
> time I go out I'm going to try and pay more attention to orientation.
> The camera is new to me and I have to get the "feel" of it.
>
> Also, they definitly look better with a small amount of sharpening.
> But I wanted to keep them looking as they did right from the camera. I
> had the in-camera sharpening set to auto. *I'll may change that so
> it's one less thing I need to do with the computer. But that's not
> really a big deal so maybe I'll leave it at auto.
>
> Ok, the floor is open to comments. *I'm always looking for
> *constructive* criticism from people who are more experienced.
>
> Thanks,
>
> Steve


Try cropping them , they are unbalanced, and try making several
photos out of one shot by croping, now the Art begins.
 
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Steve
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      01-01-2008
On Mon, 31 Dec 2007 22:18:12 -0800 (PST), ransley
<(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

>On Dec 31 2007, 6:34*pm, Steve <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>> Ok, I know I'm probably going to regret this but....
>>
>> I just got a used Nikon D200 on ebay and bought the 18-200 VR zoom
>> lens and here is my first set of shots taken with it on a little
>> walkaround tour of New Hope, PA:
>>
>> http://www.flickr.com/photos/sheliko...96709699/show/
>>
>> There is no retouching or processing at all except for:

[...]
>
>Try cropping them , they are unbalanced, and try making several
>photos out of one shot by croping, now the Art begins.


Thanks for the comment. I might get in there and do some fun stuff
with them. And cropping cound definitely help some of them. But I'm
curious, in what way are they unbalanced? I'm not sure what you mean
by that. Any specific examples?

Steve
 
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C J Campbell
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      01-01-2008
On 2007-12-31 16:34:48 -0800, Steve <(E-Mail Removed)> said:

> Ok, I know I'm probably going to regret this but....
>
> I just got a used Nikon D200 on ebay and bought the 18-200 VR zoom
> lens and here is my first set of shots taken with it on a little
> walkaround tour of New Hope, PA:
> ...
> Ok, the floor is open to comments. I'm always looking for
> *constructive* criticism from people who are more experienced.
>
> Thanks,
>
> Steve


Well, as you say, many of the pictures could be straightened. This is
common with the D200, especially with those who are new to it, so don't
be too surprised it takes awhile to get it right. Be sure you keep your
left hand under the lens, pro style.

You have some good potential subjects here and they are definitely
worth working with. However, none of these pictures really define the
subject in a way that makes it really stand out. Foregrounds tend to be
cluttered with poles, wires, bushes, trees and other extraneous junk.
Backgrounds tend to be overpowering or distracting and they are also
too cluttered. Walking around the area looking for different or less
cluttered points of view can pay off big time. Also, there is lots of
potential for detail shots that would have been memorable.

You might want to bracket exposures more often. One picture of the
train seems over-exposed as the eye is drawn toward the rear of the
train. Pay attention to where the eye is drawn -- look along the lines
of the picture -- and see if the journey is worth taking.

People bending over with their backs to you are not as interesting as
their faces, hands, and tools.

You also want to work with portrait orientation more. You have several
wide shots of the train, for example, which show little of interest on
the sides but which cut off the top of the smokestack.

All of the photos were taken at eye level. Some lower level shots of
the train or even some of the buildings might have been worthwhile.
Setting the camera on the ground or climbing up to a high vantage point
can make a dramatic difference. Full length portraits of people
generally look best if the camera is held at about the navel. This also
often works for many other subjects. Try it with the mannequins and the
train engine.

You have a good eye for choosing interesting subjects. Paying attention
to the details of the composition will take your photography to the
next level.
--
Waddling Eagle
World Famous Flight Instructor

 
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C J Campbell
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      01-01-2008
On 2007-12-31 16:34:48 -0800, Steve <(E-Mail Removed)> said:

>
> A few critical things I note myself right off the bat is that I'm bad
> at keeping the camera horizontal. A lot of shots are a degree or
> three tilted to the right. I know I can always fix that but the next
> time I go out I'm going to try and pay more attention to orientation.
> The camera is new to me and I have to get the "feel" of it.


One thing you might want to do is turn on the 1/3 grid lines in the
viewfinder. Not only will this help you keep perpendicular things
perpendicular and horizontal things horizontal, but it divides the
viewfinder into thirds so that you can practice composing using the
rule of thirds. Try putting the center of the main subject at the
intersection of two of these lines, then look for other lines in the
picture and arrange them so that these lines lead to the corner where
your main subject is.
--
Waddling Eagle
World Famous Flight Instructor

 
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Steve
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      01-01-2008
On Mon, 31 Dec 2007 23:03:08 -0800, C J Campbell
<(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

>On 2007-12-31 16:34:48 -0800, Steve <(E-Mail Removed)> said:
>
>> Ok, I know I'm probably going to regret this but....
>>

[...]
>You have a good eye for choosing interesting subjects. Paying attention
>to the details of the composition will take your photography to the
>next level.


Thank you for the suggestions. I may have to take another trip there
and try some of them out.

Steve
 
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Steve
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      01-01-2008
On Mon, 31 Dec 2007 23:09:21 -0800, C J Campbell
<(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

>On 2007-12-31 16:34:48 -0800, Steve <(E-Mail Removed)> said:
>
>>
>> A few critical things I note myself right off the bat is that I'm bad
>> at keeping the camera horizontal. A lot of shots are a degree or
>> three tilted to the right. I know I can always fix that but the next
>> time I go out I'm going to try and pay more attention to orientation.
>> The camera is new to me and I have to get the "feel" of it.

>
>One thing you might want to do is turn on the 1/3 grid lines in the
>viewfinder. Not only will this help you keep perpendicular things
>perpendicular and horizontal things horizontal, but it divides the
>viewfinder into thirds so that you can practice composing using the
>rule of thirds. Try putting the center of the main subject at the
>intersection of two of these lines, then look for other lines in the
>picture and arrange them so that these lines lead to the corner where
>your main subject is.


I did have the grid lines on. I guess I just wasn't paying too much
attention to them in some of the shots.

I'm sure I can achieve much of what you're saying by cropping out the
excess stuff that may draw attention away from the subject and moving
the subject to the intersection of the thirds. But I'll look out for
that next time I go out.

Steve
 
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Floyd L. Davidson
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Posts: n/a
 
      01-01-2008
Steve <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>Ok, I know I'm probably going to regret this but....


If you don't... consider therapy?

....

>Ok, the floor is open to comments. I'm always looking for
>*constructive* criticism from people who are more experienced.


Most of which, however, is totally worthless. There
really isn't much point in asking _other_ people what
they get out of _your_ photography, unless they are the
ones you want to please with it. A random selection of
Usenet readers is probably not really your target
audience, eh?

Almost certainly (given the way you wrote your article),
the target audience for now is: *you*!

Hence, if you were to post an article explaining what
you like and don't like, perhaps with URLs to examples,
then you might get some very good explanations of how
to go about doing that. And if you post your own
images, others can detail changes that might bring your
work closer to the examples you provide of photography
that you do like.

Otherwise, what you'll get (and what you got so far) are
random examples of how to match what someone else likes.

--
Floyd L. Davidson <http://www.apaflo.com/floyd_davidson>
Ukpeagvik (Barrow, Alaska) (E-Mail Removed)
 
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