Moving from snapshots to photographs

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Barry L. Wallis, Feb 28, 2006.

  1. Barry L. Wallis, Feb 28, 2006
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  2. Dennis Pogson, Feb 28, 2006
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  3. Barry L. Wallis

    Blink Guest

    I like you're analogy.
    both are nice shots.
    When I think of the major difference between snaps and photographs, I
    think focal point and composition. With animals I usually get down on
    there level which is usually a more pleasing composition. Of course
    the straight down the dogs nose fogging up the lens is a must have in
    any portfolio, but to dramatize the movement or body shape you should
    be on one knee or sitting. Macro is really the only thing I shoot
    straight vertical but there's always exceptions.

    You seem to have a good eye, I'd try some of the web forums as well. has a great forum I read regularly and
    you'll find great links to short and easy tutorials.

    Keep shooting
    Blink, Feb 28, 2006
  4. Thanks for your feedback. We couldn't get down to the duck's level
    because there was a fence in the way. Also, to give credit where it is
    due, my wife has the eye for composition and I have the head for the
    technical side.
    Barry L. Wallis, Feb 28, 2006
  5. Barry L. Wallis

    bmoag Guest

    Composition and choice of subject matter are both innate and learned but may
    not be the qualitative difference for which you are searching.
    Beyond the usual recommendations to keep shooting and learning the technical
    aspects of exposure, focus etc. what many people who want to improve their
    images are seeking is better processing/finishing of their images.
    There is nothing "wrong" with your duck picture but it would greatly benefit
    from some simple tweaking of basic image parameters.
    I strongly recommend you persevere in trying to master these skills in the
    imaging program of your choice. I would recommend CS2/Elements because of
    their industrial strength color management.
    Only photojournalists need to be concerned about "straight" prints. Images
    made by the rest of us, professionals and amateurs, all benefit from global
    and regional manipulation of picture elements such as color, contrast,
    brightness, etc. Simply removing flash highlights off the noses of people in
    a picture with a program like Elements tremendously improves the apparent
    quality of the image and your photographic skills.
    If you want high quality prints you should forget Walmart et al and learn to
    roll your own. This also requires basic understanding of color management
    and calibrating your monitor.
    Good luck.
    bmoag, Feb 28, 2006
  6. Barry L. Wallis

    Bill Funk Guest

    A good start!
    The duck is blurred, from camera movement; a faster shutter speed
    would have helped a lot here. While normally 1/60 second would work
    well, it obviously didn't here. Also, the foliage in the front
    The flamingo is well composed IMO, but I would have put it (the red
    flamingo) in the upper right third. Personal preference only! The
    purple 'thing' in the background is very distracting.
    Overall, nice pics that show good promise.
    Is there a setting that will get you larger image files? Not image
    size, you're showing the full 7MP, I mean less compression. The
    flamingo shows compression artifacts that would be lessened with less
    compression/larger file size.
    Take LOTS of photos, and weed out the non-keepers, if you're not
    already doing that. Study them,and see what it is that makes the good
    ones good; composition, lighting, things like that. Learn from what
    you do.
    But don't let the camera overwhelm the vacation!
    Bill Funk, Feb 28, 2006
  7. Barry L. Wallis

    Frank ess Guest

    I'm reading a collection and opinion issue of _Aperture_ published in
    1974. It was available as a separate book, entitled "Snapshot".

    One of the commentators and photographers said something to the effect
    that "A snapshot is something that happens to a photographer, as
    opposed to something he makes."

    If you value spontaneity and genuineness, you might not want to
    abandon snapshooting entirely.

    Frank ess
    Frank ess
    "In this universe there are things
    that just don't yield to thinking
    -plain or fancy-Dude".
    -J. Spicoli, PolyPartyPerson
    Frank ess, Feb 28, 2006
  8. Barry L. Wallis

    barry.wallis Guest

    I am using The Gimp and did some work on both pictures. We didn't want
    to add any "artificial" feeling so chose to err on the conservative
    side. Any suggestions on how we could improve these pictures by
    judicious editing?
    We do this already (my wife navigates while I drive The Gimp).
    Already working on this too. Thanks for your help.

    - Barry
    barry.wallis, Feb 28, 2006
  9. Barry L. Wallis

    barry.wallis Guest

    I noticed that the feathers on the duck's back looked sharp but his
    head had a slight blur. I chalked this up to depth of field and
    slightly off focus. If you are correct (and I have no reason to doubt
    it), I faster shutter speed and larger aperture would have fixed this
    at the expense of making the focus more critical. Correct?
    Yes, I included this because I liked my wife's composition. Not sure
    how I could have gotten rid of the purple umbrella other than
    Photoshopping it out (which would probably result in a mess). Maybe I
    could try desaturating it a bit so it doesn't jump out as much.
    Yes, the compression is a function of the limited space I have to use
    from my ISP. Could you point me to the artifiacts? When I looked at the
    compressed photo, it didn't look very different from the original. In
    any case, when I repost the picture, I will use less compression.
    That is exactly what we do. For example, on this trip I took 3 - 5
    photos of some scenes at different exposures. Whe we were picking the
    keepers my wife noticed that although the scene looked very similar in
    each, some exposures showed the clouds much more clearly (the
    highlights were closer to being blown out).

    I appreciate everyone's comments and will continue to post samples of
    what I think are the best ones to see if I can get some tips on
    improving them. I have noticed that for a high-traffic newsgroup, the
    signal-to-noise ratio is rather high. :)

    Never. We specifically strolled through Venice to relax, enjoy and take

    - Barry
    barry.wallis, Feb 28, 2006
  10. Barry L. Wallis

    Bill Funk Guest

    PSP shows blurring on the feathers, to me. Maybe a bit of moire.
    The EXIF shows an aperture of 2.9(3.1); is this a big as it gets? If
    so, you can't get much bigger to slow the shutter down, and you're
    already at ISO 50.
    Although, I could be wrong. Maybe just the way the sensor sees things.
    Here's a full size crop that shows the aretifacts:
    The edges of the white slats and the black line in the beak show
    artifacts; in fact, almost all high-contrast demarkations show them.
    Not real bad, but visible at full size. On the white slats, it's hard
    to tell if that's texture or artifacts.
    Again, not real bad, but there, and I thought they are the result of
    For good skies and clouds, a circular polarizer will help immensly.
    It's Usenet; IOW, anarchy.
    Bill Funk, Feb 28, 2006
  11. Barry L. Wallis

    ASAAR Guest

    Want to back up and try that again?

    ASAAR, Feb 28, 2006
  12. Frank ess wrote:
    Agreed. We are just concentrating on taking photographs currently.
    Barry L. Wallis, Mar 1, 2006
  13. Now that I'm home and looking at the original, the Gimp edited version
    (saved as a native Gimp .xcf file) and the final JPEG I have come to
    some conclusions. The white slats do show texture, so I am going to
    concentrate on the flamingo beak. The 50% compressed JPEG and the .xcf
    file when blown up to 400% both look nearly identical. Therefore, I
    think the artifacts you are seeing are a result of the editing I did
    rather than the JPEG compression.

    Thanks for working with me on this, I really appreciate it.
    Barry L. Wallis, Mar 1, 2006
  14. Here is the version with the purple umbrella desaturated a bit. Is this
    less distracting:

    - Barry
    Barry L. Wallis, Mar 1, 2006
  15. Barry L. Wallis

    Bill Funk Guest

    I HATE IT when that happens.
    I see so many complaints of the low signal-to-noise ratio that...
    Never mind.
    Bill Funk, Mar 1, 2006
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