How could I have made these pictures better?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Mike Warren, Aug 21, 2005.

  1. Mike Warren

    Mike Warren Guest

    Here are a few pictures of Milla Milla waterfall I took recently.
    They have not been edited in any way except scaling.

    These are typical of the pictures I take and the reason
    I haven't bothered to create a web album yet.

    What could I have done to get better pictures? Or is it
    just a bad subject?

    This is *the* picture everyone who goes there takes. I only
    took it as an example.

    I took about 4 versions of this one at different shutter speeds.

    Here are some others. There is a steady stream of people
    through this area. Probably could have got it empty if I had
    stayed there several hours.

    Mike Warren, Aug 21, 2005
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  2. Mike Warren

    [BnH] Guest

    Increasing the aperture would be nice to get a greater depth.
    Your 18-70 DX lens can produce sharp images at f/8 - f/11 , use that to your
    Also for waterfall shots, I normally loves those silky water flow type ,
    so for me your shots are quite excellent.
    Putting human inside the frame somehow makes the picture more alive.

    [BnH], Aug 21, 2005
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  3. Mike Warren

    Kinon O'cann Guest

    It's a nice subject, but I prefer the pix with people in them, since it
    provides a sense of scale to the falls. In the first shot, I have no idea
    how big the falls really are. Adding a few well-placed people helps the
    shot, in my ever-so-humble-opinion.
    Kinon O'cann, Aug 21, 2005
  4. Mike Warren

    Ken Tough Guest

    I'd say the same. A person actually -in- the falls might really
    do the trick.
    Ken Tough, Aug 21, 2005
  5. These are typical of the pictures I take and the reason
    I shot this waterfall myself a few months ago. I don't claim my photos
    are good, or better than yours, or anything, but they are a little

    I went for the longer exposure to give the cotton wool effect.

    Getting people, or at least some background trees or something in the
    shot gives a sense of scale, which helps with this subject. But the
    overriding problem with your shots, other than incorrect exposure, is
    that you seem to have concentrated on the plants in the foreground
    rather than the waterfall!
    Derek Fountain, Aug 21, 2005
  6. Mike Warren

    kz8rt3 Guest

    I think you just answered one question. Don't take pictures where
    everyone else does. When I was a kid my uncle/photographer told me
    "Before to take a shot, look right below you on the ground. If you see
    gum, footprints or cigarette butts then don't take the shot".

    Nice framing though. The only slightly soft focus background hurts me.
    My eye does not know where to go. The falls slightly clipped by the
    leaves distracts me.
    (The fact that the woman in front of the falls is taking a picture is an
    automatic turn off for me because it shows it is such an obvious shot)
    Sometimes there is nothing you can do so you stop hanging around and
    explore instead. You can't always take the picture.
    kz8rt3, Aug 21, 2005
  7. Mike Warren

    kz8rt3 Guest

    kz8rt3, Aug 21, 2005
  8. Mike Warren

    Mike Warren Guest

    Derek Fountain wrote:

    Hi Derek,

    Thanks for the feedback.
    Incorrect exposure? Or do you mean I should have used a slower
    shutter speed.

    I suppose I should have performed some basic edits before posting
    them. I wasn't actually thinking of technical issues when I asked
    for feedback. I just hit the auto convert button on Nikon View.

    Here's another one.

    I don't have a remote shutter release so had to use the self timer.
    I pressed the shutter release and stepped back from the camera
    to wait for the timer to fire. At that point I noticed a group of
    people were waiting behind me and one woman had decided that
    I had finished and walked up to the falls.

    Mike Warren, Aug 22, 2005
  9. Mike Warren

    Mike Warren Guest

    This is a quick edit of the picture.
    Any better?

    Thanks for your feedback.

    Mike Warren, Aug 22, 2005
  10. Mike Warren

    Stacey Guest

    Stacey, Aug 22, 2005
  11. Mike Warren

    redbelly Guest


    Did you use a polarizer here? I find I need one in order to get a rich
    blue sky and green foliage like in your shots.
    Including part of the waterfall's reflection in this shot is a nice
    touch. I often do that myself with other subjects near a body of

    redbelly, Aug 22, 2005
  12. Mike Warren

    redbelly Guest

    Hello Mike,

    Nice shots! I have a few ideas.

    How much have you experimented with cropping in order to change the
    framing/composition of the shots? A quick way to do this is just to
    resize the browser window when displaying them on your computer. Then
    when you see something you like, go for the final cut in Photoshop or
    whatever editing software you use.

    In photos with people, crop out the bottom so that they appear along
    the bottom of the photo. To my eye, at least, I find this helps with

    Ellinjaa01-Edit.jpg is my favorite of the lot. The person is in the
    way, but I find that cropping it horizontally, at her shoulders, helps
    a lot (and you hardly notice the blurry head that is left in the corner
    if you do this). Love the similarity in pattern between the tree
    branches and some of the water streams.

    Leaves tend to produce glare, but using a polarizer helps give them a
    richer, greener color.


    redbelly, Aug 22, 2005
  13. Mike Warren

    Steve Wolfe Guest

    I like this one the best, but without the people would have been better.
    Also, a quick crop to get the waterfall a bit away from the center of the
    photo (and hence a bit closer to the rule of thirds) also seemed better to
    me - but hey, that's just my opinion, and may or may not reflect upon
    reality. : )

    Steve Wolfe, Aug 22, 2005
  14. Mike Warren

    denis Guest

    Some nice photos here - but I really dislike the convention for slow
    shutter speeds when photographing waterfalls or moving water generally.
    The 'cotton wool' effect is NOT how it looks in reality - the water
    should look WET and TURBULENT - that's my opinion anyway.

    Denis Boisclair
    Cheshire, UK
    denis, Aug 22, 2005
  15. Mike Warren

    PcB Guest

    Hi Mike,

    <<What could I have done to get better pictures? Or is it just a bad

    This is *the* picture everyone who goes there takes. I only took it as an
    I don't think there is anything fundamentally wrong with the composition
    (I've never been so I don't know what alternatives you had <g>) but a quick
    look in Elements shows slight underexposure, which can be corrected using
    Levels, and you could tweak the yellows and reds whilst you are on. I had a
    play with the image and can send you a copy if you want - I'm no expert so
    treat it very much as a starting point.

    Paul ============}
    o o

    // Live fast, die old //
    PaulsPages are at
    PcB, Aug 22, 2005
  16. Mike Warren

    Mike Warren Guest

    Mike Warren, Aug 22, 2005
  17. Mike Warren

    Mike Warren Guest

    Yes. I haven't found any crops that appeal to me.

    Thanks for the feedback.

    Mike Warren, Aug 22, 2005
  18. Mike Warren

    Mike Warren Guest

    I think so too, but others disagree. I really wanted to get some
    shots without people but there was a steady stream of them
    walking up to the falls.

    Mike Warren, Aug 22, 2005
  19. Mike Warren

    Mike Warren Guest

    It is a cliché, but I like it if the mood of the picture dictates it.
    Some would say the blur reflects the movement of the water. :)

    Mike Warren, Aug 22, 2005
  20. Mike Warren

    Mike Warren Guest

    The exposure comments by you and Derek interest me. Have you
    had a chance to look at the couple of edits I posted? Are they still
    under exposed?

    The first lot were just dumped by Nikon View and I didn't do anything
    to them. I was only thinking about compositional improvments. If my
    exposures are off then I need to rethink the technical side of my
    photograqphy. I thought I had that side pretty much sorted out. :)
    I would like to see what you did. Are you able to post it somewhere?
    Otherwise, if you want to email it to me you will need to remove the
    obvious spam trap from my reply address.

    Thanks for the feedback.

    Mike Warren, Aug 22, 2005
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