BetterPhoto Q&A
Category: New Questions

Photography Question 
Stuart U
 

Interested in Critique vol 2


 
  Barn Cuties
Barn Cuties
Shooting Mode
Aperture-Priority AE
Tv( Shutter Speed )
1/100
Av( Aperture Value )
10.0
Metering Mode
Evaluative Metering
Exposure Compensation
0
Autoexposure Bracketing
-2/3
ISO Speed
800
Lens
75.0 - 300.0mm
Focal Length
270.0mm

© Stuart U
Canon EOS Digital ...
 
 
The other thread is getting a bit long, so I thought I would begin anew. These cuties are some semi-wild barn cats that I snapped over Christmas. Posing them was not an option, but I thought they stuck their own nicely. Comments please. Per the previous discussion in the other thread, I would like helpful comments.


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12/26/2005 5:21:55 PM

 
Margie Hurwich
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/16/2005
  Stuart, I think it looks great...although I tend to shy away from moving objects. You did a great job of capturing them.


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12/26/2005 5:51:34 PM

 
Rob Zuidema
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/19/2005
 
 
 

© Rob Zuidema
Canon EOS Digital ...
 
 
Personally, I like the shot of the cats, but I am not qualified to give any constructive technique. I am wondering though, what you may think of this little guy?


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12/26/2005 8:18:19 PM

 
Brendan Knell
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/17/2005
  Rob, I think this is composed really good. But in the larger version, I think it looks a little bit noisy. Did you use a really hight ISO?


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12/26/2005 8:31:48 PM

 
Rob Zuidema
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/19/2005
  Yes, the ISO was quite high. The kittens were in our basement and the lighting was poor, along with the 3 week old active animals, I needed the higher speed. I tried the flash, but all the flash pictures were quite blown out.


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12/26/2005 8:40:24 PM

 
Katrina McMeans
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/9/2005
  Stuart, thanks for starting this new thread. The other one really was getting pretty long, I just didn't get around to starting a new on myself! ; )

I really like the barn cat picture, Stuart. I understand this might not have worked on account of the cats possibly not accepting it, but I was wondering if you would have been able to reflect a little light into the black cat's face. It's extra hard to see details in animals that are black, so a little extra light would have helped a lot, I'm thinking. Just an idea!

Rob, your kitten picture is very cute and composed perfectly. But as Brendan pointed out, it is a little noisy.

~K


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12/27/2005 3:40:13 AM

 
Tonya Cozart
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/22/2003
 
 
 

I am looking for some advice and critique on the following...TIA
I took christmas photos of my kidsand had some light issues. I really don't understand why,but I had trouble geting enough light. I took them in the daytime, in my living room with 3 windows letting in south light and french doors letting in north light. neither is hard on the windows, both have an overhang.It was cloudy that day but the room was only slightly dim.I could have read in the room with no trouble. I turned off my flourescent overhead lights because I think it messes with my white balance..which was set to flash(I have not mastered setting custome yet...it is next on my list.) I got the pics to look pretty good in my LCD panel, but they are ALWAYS darker on my puter. My histogram shows nearly all of them to be on the dark side. So here are the specs...I used my external flash set on TTL, bounced off the white ceiling, (I could not even use my omnibounce)and the available window light mentioned above. I used an aperture of 5.6 or 4.5, I could not go any smaller or I did not get enough light at all.The camera sets the shutter at 1/60 when the flash is attatched and the the flash does the metering and calculating, so I can't see how it is metering. I also had to set my iso at 800. Some of the pics are very dark, some are ok, and a few seem just about right on, though on the darker side of the histogram.
First question is...in the same situation with light, why would I have so many variations with exposure? Second, why is that not enough light? With all those setting especially, I would think it would be sufficient.
Third question, If it looks good in my lcd panel, is that true or is my monitor? I know that is a calibration issue, but I need to know what to trust.
All pics posted were taken under the exact condition, these are unedited.Can anyone help?


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12/27/2005 10:40:04 AM

 
Collette Photography
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/21/2005
  Tonya, I looked at your Christmas photos in your gallery, and the only reasons that I can think of that the light was different are, the ones of the girl are closer so therefor the exposure is going to be different, but Im not sure why they came out so dark, what did you have your metering set to (matrix, center-weighted,or spot)? And as far as the ones of the boy, they seem to have enough light, although in the first one it looks like you focused on the background instead of him, and I would crop them in a bit, so that the focus is more on him. They are really cute pictures though! I hope this helps you some!

Stuart, that is really a cute picture of the cats, very well composed, I agree with Katrina about reflecting the light back into there faces, they are a bit dark espesially the black cat. Also the one cat on the left seems a bit out of focus. Hope this helps some too!

-Collette-


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12/27/2005 11:01:36 AM

 
Tonya Cozart
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/22/2003
  Collette,
Thanks for looking! I use matrix metering.
Would just a foot or so make that much difference in exposure? The camera was stationary at all times. I started with the ones of my daughter and they are all pretty much too dark, but when I got to my son, they were all better with the light, and I did nothing to change it. Also, on my son's, the focus is probably off because I just set the tripod up, closed in on the scene and let him play and used a remote. He is 18mo and that is the best way I get him! thanks so much!


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12/27/2005 12:00:05 PM

 
Kerby Pfrangle
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/19/2005
Contact Kerby
Kerby's Gallery
 
 
 
I been making some organ photoballs and wondered which one you liked the best.

I was thinking of running one in the contest.

Kerby


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12/27/2005 12:28:29 PM

 
Kerby Pfrangle
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/19/2005
Contact Kerby
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Have to put the balls in.


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12/27/2005 12:30:01 PM

 
Dr Silly
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/28/2004
  Kerby I like organ ball one best. Because it is nice and simple. :o)


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12/27/2005 12:53:51 PM

 
Tonya Cozart
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/22/2003
  I agree with silly...:)


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12/27/2005 1:20:36 PM

 
Kay Beausoleil
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/31/2004
KayBeausoleilPhotography.com
  To Stuart U: Your wild cat trio is a fetching picture with the cats well posed and taken at a pleasing angle. In a perfect world, the dark cat would not have been in the middle, but with animals you take what you can.

I have two little problems with the image, though. (1) The dark cat's eyes are closed. In a human group portrait this would be unfortunate, and it is here, too. My solution for animals is to carry a tiny squeeky toy (or a cricket) and use it a millisecond before taking the picture. But with most, this only works once, twice at the most -- they catch on fast. You could snap your fingers over your head or let out a soft whistle, or or ... you get the picture.

And (2) the something that looks like a picture frame at the upper right takes away from the portrait feel.

If you're skilled in Photoshop, you can remove (2) and clone in some eyes for (1). Overall, it's a sweet image, and worth the extra work. Hope this helps!


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12/27/2005 3:03:55 PM

 
Rob Zuidema
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/19/2005
  Hi Kerby, I have to agree, Organ Ball One is great because of it's simplicity, but as an organist myself, I really love Organ Ball Five. There is still so much detail in there while giving it that element of design you were after. I love it!


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12/27/2005 5:44:27 PM

 
Margie Hurwich
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/16/2005
  I'm fresh from the holidays and back into full swing. So, here I am playing catch up again.

Rob, love the composition of the kitten, but have to agree, there is quite a bit of noise. They sell programs to help with such a thing...not sure how much they run though. I've seen it do wonders and with a composition like this one...you should try to invest!

Kerby...I like two of them. One and five. One is very simple, which you can't beat and the other adds a "twist"!

Stuart, I have to agree with Kay about the middle cats eyes being closed. However, like I mentioned earlier, I tend to shy away from moving things...this would be one of the reasons why!

To close, I've added a couple of pics to my gallery. One is only a second attempt at a true macro. The other is a bird...which didn't move while I took the shot. Out of the norm for me, so any comments would be appreciated! Hope everyone's holiday was great!


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12/27/2005 5:49:27 PM

 
Kerby Pfrangle
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/19/2005
Contact Kerby
Kerby's Gallery
  Thank you for the input on my organ photoballs. It really helps to get other people's opinions.

I put up organ photoball number five today in the contest.

I have a hard time picking which one to put up.

I placed it in macro and detail but thought about elements of design. But I did do some photoshop work on it so when I looked at how to pick the category that did not seem like the correct one.

It does have lots of detail so I placed it in macro and detail.

I have a hard time picking categories sometimes.


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12/28/2005 3:29:41 AM

 
Katrina McMeans
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/9/2005
  Kerby, I personally LOVE number 4, and number 2 looks like something tasty to eat! LOL!
Good luck with them!
~K


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12/28/2005 3:57:10 AM

 
Margie Hurwich
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/16/2005
  Kerby, I would think this would be elements of design. It's like a pattern to me, which makes me think of design. Not sure though...


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12/28/2005 5:31:19 AM

 
Kay Beausoleil
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/31/2004
KayBeausoleilPhotography.com
  Would somebody please tell this uncultured slob what an organ ball is? Thank you.


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12/28/2005 5:58:01 AM

 
Kay Beausoleil
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/31/2004
KayBeausoleilPhotography.com
  OK, I think I've figured it out (duh!) -- it's banks of keys with a twirl effect?

In any case, my vote's for One or Three. Three (on the grey side) would win if it had One's richer colour. Fun effects, Kerby! And a vote for Design, too.


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12/28/2005 6:16:35 AM

 
Margie Hurwich
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/16/2005
  You know, Kerby...I keep second guessing myself. I believe you create the photo balls in PS, correct? If so, wouldn't that be considered Digital Darkroom? OK...now I'm confused!


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12/28/2005 6:22:05 AM

 
Kerby Pfrangle
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/19/2005
Contact Kerby
Kerby's Gallery
  Margie and Kay B I was also thinking of elements of design also but when you read how to put them in a category it says no extreme digital creations and this is pretty extreme. (Does not look like an organ).

With the Digital Darkroom that is where it should go. I tend to overload that category and already have eight or nine in Dark Room for this month. Where I have two in macro and detail.

With Detail and macro I feel it is extremely detailed so I put it in that one.

If it can fit in two categories I tend to go to the one where I have the least amount of entries.

LEt me know how you pick a category when you have something that could go into two or three of the different categories. I have a hard time with it sometimes.


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12/28/2005 8:12:28 AM

 
Collette Photography
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/21/2005
  Kerby, I personally like one and four the best, as far as the categories go I would think "design" but maybe Im wrong, I am allot! =)

Also I put two fixed versions of two different photos in my gallery, 1 is "Big bad Kitty" and 2 is "Standing out" So I would love peoples oppinion on which version of each picture you think is better! As well as more CC on my photos!!=) Thanks!

-Collette-


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12/28/2005 11:33:24 AM

 
Collette Photography
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/21/2005
  I almost forgot to answer your question Tonya! sorry! Well next time I would use "Center- Weighted" or "Spot" metering next time to make sure that the camera sets the exposure for the subject rather than for the background. and I have had the same thing happen to me before when I would zoom in verses not, the lighting comes out completely different, so you have to make sure that you set the exposure for each separately, Also did you use an on camera flash or an attachable flash? Ok, hope that helps some! =) When doing protraits and working with lighting, its a lot of trial and error to get it right, but dont give up!

-Collette-


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12/28/2005 11:39:32 AM

 
Margie Hurwich
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/16/2005
  Kerby, I don't think I ever really read about elements of design as I generally don't shoot that much. Agree with you that if it says no extreme digital creations, I wouldn't put it in elements of design. I still would think digital darkroom, but not an issue to try with another category. If it doesn't hit the finals this month, you should really enter it into digital darkroom next month as I truly believe you have a winner there!


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12/28/2005 12:24:37 PM

 
Dr Silly
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/28/2004
  Collette on Standing Out I think the one off center is best. But I think you would have a better photo if you had a group of flowers in color, there is way to much flat gray in the picture. Or more flowers in color here and there.

On Big Bad Kitty I like the one with out the fence.

Have a great day :o)


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12/28/2005 12:37:18 PM

 
Collette Photography
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/21/2005
  Thanks Dr. Silly! I think I prefer the one off center as well, and I will play around with the flowers in color, but I liked the feeling of difference or seclusion that the one flower in color with the rest in b&w gave! But maybe it would be better differently! =) Thanks!

-Collette-


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12/28/2005 12:48:20 PM

 
Katrina McMeans
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/9/2005
  Collette, I think personally that the red flower looks too stark among the black and white field. Was this picture originally fully color? If so, I would suggest simply toning down the rest of the flowers and leaving one brightly colored...I think that would look much prettier.
~K


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12/28/2005 1:14:30 PM

 
Dr Silly
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/28/2004
  Collette I think Katrina may have a good idea. Would like to see how it would look. A soft pastal and one bright flower. :o)


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12/28/2005 2:19:30 PM

 
Collette Photography
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/21/2005
  I will play around with the image tonight and try what you both suggested, and try and upload the results for you both to see! Thanks for the comments and suggestions! =)

-Collette-


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12/28/2005 3:55:10 PM

 
Collette Photography
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/21/2005
  Ok, I put the different version in my gallery, you will see it its the first picture. Let me know what you all think of this version! thanks a bunch!

-Collette-


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12/28/2005 4:37:30 PM

 
Kerby Pfrangle
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/19/2005
Contact Kerby
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  Collette try making the standout flower a Deep gold instead of the red.

I bet that would make the image pop.

The red just blends in with the image.

Kerby


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12/28/2005 4:42:50 PM

 
Katrina McMeans
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/9/2005
  I like the idea and how it turned out, Collette. But now that Kerby mentions, it, the flower would look great if it were a different color. Or maybe toned down just a bit also.
~K


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12/28/2005 4:44:25 PM

 
Dr Silly
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/28/2004
  For some reason even the new picture doesn't work for me. I think Kerby is right about the lone flower being a differant color. :o)


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12/28/2005 5:25:17 PM

 
Margie Hurwich
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/16/2005
  Collette, there is also a small piece of white in the far upper right corner. Maybe you could clone an extra flower in or recrop to exclude that. You're doing a beautiful job with this!


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12/28/2005 5:26:49 PM

 
Sharon  Day
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/27/2004
  Glad to see the critique is still going. Kerby, I liked #5 best too. I also liked #3 nearly as well as #5.


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12/28/2005 7:51:09 PM

 
Wanda-Lynn Searles
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/13/2004
Contact Wanda-Lynn
Wanda-Lynn's Gallery
  Stuart,that is really a cute picture of the cats.I love your other photos in your gallery.
I would like to ask everyones opinion as to whether I should have my copyright across the photo or on the bottom corner of the photo on my website?
I see where other photograhpers have it where you can't right-click to save a photo, and I don't know how to add that to my site.
You're more then welcome to check out my website to see how I have my photos now with the copyright; if you would like to.It's www.lynnsdreamshop.com and it's under Lynn's Photography link.
I'm working on a new website now, and hope to get it up soon. But I don't want it how I have it done now with the copyright across the photo. I want it to look more professional.
Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you.Wanda-Lynn


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12/28/2005 8:45:49 PM

 
Linda Proctor
BetterPhoto Member Since: 8/5/2004
 
 
 
Hi I need some advice on this,does it look like it's floating ? And really unsure of the composition ? Thanks Linda


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12/28/2005 9:01:43 PM

 
Kerby Pfrangle
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/19/2005
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  Linda I have two suggestions but I do not even know if I like my suggestions until I see them done.

THe first I set the tea set back aways not so close to the edge.

Second if this had a tray that matches it I put it on the tray and space the tea set out a little bit not so close together.

But like I said I am not even sure if the suggestions would work or not. I have to try it and look at it than see if I like it.

Kerby


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12/28/2005 9:41:52 PM

 
Katrina McMeans
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/9/2005
  Hi Linda!
I was thinking that if you had the teapot more in the right corner, and composed at more of an angle from the left, it would look better.
But like Kerby, I really do have to see things before I can tell if I liked it or not. ; )
~K


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12/29/2005 4:33:13 AM

 
Dr Silly
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/28/2004
  Hi Collette I have look at your flower picture over and over and I think that the big problem is that the photo is out of focus or has a very small DOF.

I don't think that this photo will work with all of the foreground and backgroud in the photo. :o)

Hi Linda I think Kerby is right put a tray under the tea set. :o)


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12/29/2005 5:47:54 AM

 
Stuart U   Wanda-Lynn,

Thank you for the feedback on my photo.

I took a look at your website, and I think it is very nice. I don't know a lot about watermarking pictures, but for what I have done this is not an issue. Most of the pictures you see on the net are of too low quality to worry about someone taking and printing them.

One comment or question about the pictures on your site is about the "people" section. I am not sure of this, but I don't think you can sell pictures (especially celebs) without a release from the subject. There is quite a bit of discussion on this site about this subject, and I don't want this thread to become a discussion of model release forms. I just wanted you to be aware so that you can make sure you are not upsetting these folks.

Stuart


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12/29/2005 6:14:05 AM

 
Linda Proctor
BetterPhoto Member Since: 8/5/2004
  Thank you Kerby,Katrina and Dr. Silly Appreciate your comments a lot,will try again with your suggestions


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12/29/2005 6:16:57 AM

 
Collette Photography
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/21/2005
  Thanks Everyone for your feedback and comments on my photo! I will try out all of your suggestions and post the results, but I may not get them up until tomorrow. Thanks again for taking the time to give me suggestions and helping out!

-Collette-


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12/29/2005 10:01:04 AM

 
Wanda-Lynn Searles
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/13/2004
Contact Wanda-Lynn
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  Stuart,
Thank you for the feedback on my website.
I'm not sure if my photos are low quality so I wanted to make sure by adding a watermark or something better then I have it now.
About the people section on my site I have taking that section off as of tonight for safe keeping.
And thank you again for your help.
If anyone else knows how to add watermarks I could use the help thanks.
As for Photoshops I use The Print Shop 11.0, Adobe Photoshop Elements 2.0
(that I'm still having trouble understanding),Printshop Photo Pro,Microsoft Picture It! Express 7.0 and Paint Shop Pro 8 .If any of these will work let me know.
Wanda-Lynn


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12/29/2005 8:14:43 PM

 
Margie Hurwich
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/16/2005
  OK...I need all of your help. I was approached by a gallery owner about hanging some of my photos in the gallery to sell (HOW EXCITING!). Nonetheless, at one time I had been told that theme shots sell in pairs if not in threes. So, when I was on vacation I searched for some unique seashells and brought them home. I tend to like all of the shots that I've submitted, but I never received one comment on any of them. They are in my gallery (the latest 3 or in my deluxe gallery in details and macro). Could you take a look and let me know you think? Thanks!


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12/30/2005 10:15:04 AM

 
Katrina McMeans
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/9/2005
  Margie, I LOVED the starfish one! I also like 'Broken' in the thumbnail but when I opened it, something didn't seem right, although I can't put my finger on it. The 'Half Dollar' seemd kind of bleak to me...compared to the star fish one, at least. I think maybe some prettier shells would go well in a group, or maybe different compositions of that starfish.
Just my humble opinions! ; )
Hope they help.
~K


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12/30/2005 11:20:26 AM

 
Collette Photography
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/21/2005
  Margie, I really love the starfish photo, the color and clarity is wonderfu! The "Broken" one I think might be better if you took it so that the shell was diagonal in the photo rather than straight up and down also if you softened it a bit it might help as well because you can see so much of the gritty sand, but just a thought. and the silver dollar one seems like Katrina said, a bit bleak or dull, maybe if you did something different with the lighting it might help. Hope that helped some!

Also I up-loaded the new and different versions of the tulip photo, so let me know what you all think. Thank you all so much for helping me out so much and giving so many suggestions, its greatly appreciated! =)

-Collette-


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12/30/2005 2:46:53 PM

 
Kerby Pfrangle
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/19/2005
Contact Kerby
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  Collette the golden colored floral makes the image look better to me because it makes the stands out and pop.

The red flower blends in with the image to much. The red one did not work for me.

Kerby


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12/30/2005 3:07:03 PM

 
Margie Hurwich
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/16/2005
 
 
  Seashell
Seashell
© Margie Hurwich
Canon EOS Digital ...
 
 
Thanks to everyone who responded about my seashells. I'm going to try a few different things and see what I come up with. One last shot...any suggestions?


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12/30/2005 6:47:23 PM

 
Susan L. Vasquez
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/24/2005
 
 
 
I haven't had much luck with my new telephoto lens, been trying shots of birds and so far I really am not very happy with the results. The ISO in these shots was 800. Shutter speed was about 1/200 a sec. Sorry I can't recall exactly. All the shots needed some serious work in CS2 to make them half way decent. I'd really love to learn more about using a telephoto lens....suggestions will be appreciated :)

oh I have a Tamron 28-300mm 1:3.5-6.3


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12/30/2005 7:35:23 PM

 
Susan L. Vasquez
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/24/2005
 
 
 
I haven't had much luck with my new telephoto lens, been trying shots of birds and so far I really am not very happy with the results. The ISO in these shots was 800. Shutter speed was about 1/200 a sec. Sorry I can't recall exactly. All the shots needed some serious work in CS2 to make them half way decent. I'd really love to learn more about using a telephoto lens....suggestions will be appreciated :)

oh I have a Tamron 28-300mm 1:3.5-6.3


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12/30/2005 7:36:56 PM

 
Katrina McMeans
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/9/2005
  I really like this, Margie! The lighting is what makes this for me. And the simple composition!
~K


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12/30/2005 7:38:01 PM

 
Margie Hurwich
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/16/2005
  Thanks, Katrina. That is my final shot (so far) of my seashells. I plan to do more next week.

Susan, when you learn about your telephoto...teach me. The only thing I've learned as that you need a good tripod as well as being able to get great dof.


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12/30/2005 7:42:11 PM

 
Susan L. Vasquez
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/24/2005
  Linda, I really like your tea set shot. I think the flowers help anchor it down, but you might try a tray (as suggested) or a beautiful wood table with the black background.


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12/30/2005 7:43:00 PM

 
Linda Proctor
BetterPhoto Member Since: 8/5/2004
  Hi Susan your bird shots are very nice,can't help with the telephoto but have you tried Neat Image maybe to remove the noise? Thanks for the suggestion on mine Never thought to try a table Thanks Linda


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12/30/2005 8:08:27 PM

 
Wanda-Lynn Searles
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/13/2004
Contact Wanda-Lynn
Wanda-Lynn's Gallery
  Hi everyone,
Margie, I just love the Starfish one the color is wonderful on it.
Susan,I'm not sure on the Tamron 28-300mm 1:3.5-6.3.I use a Sigma 70-300 lens on my Nikon D50 and still got a lot to learn on mine but so far my photos have come out pretty good.If I find anything out on it I'll let you know okay.
I'm not sure if my photos are low quality so I wanted to make sure by adding a watermark or something better then I have it now.You can check out my photos in my gallery or website to see why I need watermarks.
If anyone knows how to add watermarks I could use the help thanks.
As for Photoshops I use The Print Shop 11.0, Adobe Photoshop Elements 2.0
(that I'm still having trouble understanding),Printshop Photo Pro,Microsoft Picture It! Express 7.0 and Paint Shop Pro 8 .If any of these will work let me know.
Any suggestions, will be greatly appreciated.
Wanda-Lynn


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12/30/2005 8:34:04 PM

 
Susan L. Vasquez
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/24/2005
  Linda, I have used noise filters and I like imagenomic's the best. The only thing about noise filters is you can only do so much or you lose detail and sharpness.
I know I have to get closer somehow...so many people have incredible bird shots here. How can you get close without scaring them away?


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12/30/2005 8:52:58 PM

 
Brendan Knell
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/17/2005
  Susan, how I got so close to the hummingbird in my gallery, is you just go out where they are and just sit down/stand, which will might scare them off. But you just have to wait and they'll come back. That and I cropped it some.


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12/30/2005 9:00:37 PM

 
Linda Proctor
BetterPhoto Member Since: 8/5/2004
  That's true I'm not sure, Janine Rusell(?) Has some awesome bird pics Wonder if she might help out on how to get close ?


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12/30/2005 9:03:20 PM

 
Brendan Knell
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/17/2005
  P.S. we also have a bird/humming bird feeder close by that attracts them.


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12/30/2005 9:04:22 PM

 
Susan L. Vasquez
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/24/2005
  Ut-oh! I'm not known to be a very patient person ;) But I will try...have a three day weekend and for once I have NOTHING to do! I wish we had a better zoo here...going to an aviary would be really good.
Happy New Year everyone!


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12/30/2005 9:46:29 PM

 
Kerby Pfrangle
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/19/2005
Contact Kerby
Kerby's Gallery
  Susan have fun on your days off and good luck with your bird shots.


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12/30/2005 10:02:51 PM

 
Stuart U  
 
BetterPhoto.com Editor's Pick   What's up there?
What's up there?
This little guy was eyeing the seed above...I think

Shooting Mode
Aperture-Priority AE
Tv 1/200; Av 10.0
ISO Speed 800
Lens 75.0 - 300.0mm IS
Focal Length
300.0mm

© Stuart U
Canon EOS Digital ...

 
 
Susan,

I am unsure why you are unhappy with your phots, but I will offer a bit from my experience. Your photos look very noisy. This is amplified by your sharpening the photos in Photoshop. If possible, I would try decresing your ISO. This makes getting our feathered friends a bit more difficult, but it also makes for less noise.

One other thing I noted was your shutter speed. I do not know your lens and I don't know if you are using a tripod, but if you are at the far range (300 mm) with that shutter speed and no image stabilization, you will have camera shake causing the focus to always seem a bit soft.

I talked to a guy once who had some great bird photos, and he told me one of his secrets was that he used a remote flash set near the feeder so that he could use a faster shutter speed. I don't have a flash (yet) that can do this, so I have no idea if it works.

Stuart


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12/31/2005 4:59:20 AM

 
Collette Photography
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/21/2005
  Margie, I like the new photo that you posted of the sea shell, but what if you tried turning them B&W, and upping the contrast, that might give them more umph, and hide some of the flaws on the actual shell, just a thought! Great job though!! =)

Susan, you might try moving your bird feeders close to a window in your house that way when you are in the house you can see if they are there or not and even try and shoot through the window. I have done this a few times and if you dont use a flash you cant even tell that they were shot through the window, just a suggestion though, sorry I cant be of more help.

Thanks Katrina and Kerby for your comments on my photos!! =)

-Collette-


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12/31/2005 12:35:56 PM

 
Irene Troy
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/27/2004
  Susan,

On the subject of using a telephoto and trying for bird/wildlife subjects; I am far from expert, but I will share some things I have learned (mostly by making mistakes!): #1 and most important of all: you absolutely MUST use a steady tripod! I learned that without a tripod using a long lens is a exercise in frustration. I use a pan-tilt head, but some prefer a ball head, I am sure it is a matter of opinion. Just find one that you like and use it – always. #2: if you use a tripod you can use a much slower ISO. I often shoot using an ISO of 100 or even 50 with my long lens mounted on my tripod. #3: recognize that all lenses have a “sweet spot” and a limit to their ability to capture an image at distance. I kept trying to capture images that were beyond the range of my long lens, thinking that the subject that I saw in the viewfinder would come out on the final image – wrong – if the subject is beyond the sharp scope of the lens it will not be sharp in the final image. I had the same Tamron lens and found that it really did not capture a sharp image beyond around 250mm. I have a new 400mm lens and even it fails to capture a really sharp image at maximum distance. #4: on moving subjects such as birds I have had some success setting my ISO at 100 and pushing the shutter speed up past 200/sec – again with the lens on a tripod. This seems to cut down on noise while stopping action enough so that the image is not blurred. #5: instead of stopping action consider blurring action. This sometimes works when I try to capture wildlife images; although it seems to work better with larger mammals instead of birds. My last shared experience is that I have not had much success using PS to sharpen bird images or images of smaller wildlife subjects. This might be because of my lack of experience, but it may also be because these subjects are small to begin with and the sharpening process ends up introducing way too much noise. I hope that some of this is helpful.


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12/31/2005 1:19:58 PM

 
Bob Cammarata
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/17/2003
 
 
  Tufted Titmouse
Tufted Titmouse
Nikkor 180 mm ED, TC-201 teleconverter, Quantum Radio Slave, twin Vivitar flash units, optical slave, Kodachrome 64
© Bob Cammarata
Nikon FE SLR Camer...
 
 
Susan,
Others have commented on the keys to the successful photography of songbirds.
Brendan mentioned having a feeder nearby and the importance of being patient. This was great advice since songbirds need one of four elements to be available for them to appear at any given point:
Food, water, shelter, or the posibility of finding a mate. (Kinda' like us, actually.) ;)

Adding natural props and perches near the feeder will give your photos a more realistic appearence.
Being patient and vigilant is of great importance. It may take hours to get that perfect photo op and you need to be ready when it happens.

Stuart mentioned using remote flash to capture skittish, quick moving subjects. Also, great advice.
You can take that a step further by firing your camera by remote as well. (If you can.)
The advantages of doing this is that you don't need mega-millimeter optics to get a full-frame subject...even with tiny birds like this tufted titmouse, which was taken with a 180 mm and 2x teleconverter, set up on a tripod around 10 feet away.

Finally, Irene gave great advice in mentioned two key points which will help to improve sharpness:
A low ISO setting and utilizing the "sweet spot" of your lens,...usually a few stops under wide open.


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12/31/2005 2:52:15 PM

 
Stuart U  
 
 
Bob,

I really like you Tufty.

Here is my latest.


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12/31/2005 6:36:12 PM

 
Stuart U  
 
  Orchid
Orchid
© Stuart U
Canon EOS Digital ...
 
 
oops


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12/31/2005 6:40:05 PM

 
Susan L. Vasquez
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/24/2005
 
 
BetterPhoto.com Photo Contest Finalist
 
Robin Silhouette
Robin Silhouette
original shot was dark and noisy.
Used level adjustments to create a silhouette and gradient layers to make a fiery sunset background.
Happy New Year all :)

© Susan L. Vasquez
Nikon D70 Digital ...
 
 
first of all Stuart and Bob, your shots are wonderful! I think you must have the patience that I lack. I froze outside for over an hour today waiting for the birds to come out of the tree and into the feeder. I managed to get one shot of a robin on the fence but again I have a problem with the shot being way too dark. Anyways to make the long story short, I decided to PS it to death and make something that I think is pleasing overall.
Thanks for all the advice, and happy new year all.


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12/31/2005 8:41:00 PM

 
Kerby Pfrangle
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/19/2005
Contact Kerby
Kerby's Gallery
 
 
 
I made this snowman photoball three different ways and wondered which one you like the best.

Thank you,


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12/31/2005 11:49:36 PM

 
Wanda-Lynn Searles
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/13/2004
Contact Wanda-Lynn
Wanda-Lynn's Gallery
  Hi Kerby,
I love the snowman photo ball no. 3
one the color is wonderful on it.
Wanda-Lynn


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1/1/2006 12:34:18 AM

 
Bob Cammarata
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/17/2003
  Susan,
I like your robin silhouette.
The tree in the background is a nice touch and I like how the bird is looking over its shoulder, back into the frame.
Very nicely composed.
Bob


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1/1/2006 1:27:55 AM

 
Katrina McMeans
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/9/2005
  HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!

Susan, I love how you salvaged your robin picture. It looks great! No one could tell that you didn't intend for it to look like this to begin with!
And Kerby, I agree with Wanda-Lynn! The 3rd is the prettiest.

~K


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1/1/2006 4:52:23 AM

 
Margie Hurwich
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/16/2005
  Stuart, I'm all over flower shots! Your orchid is beautiful. What is the slight red in the background? It adds to the red in the flower.

Susan, can't believe your shot was PS'd. It looks like you captured it this way. Great job.

Kerby, I personally like photo ball 3. It has many wonderful colors.

I played with my seashells (turned to b/w, spruced up a few flaws). The sand dollar I'll have to reshoot and the starfish needs to the color to make the shot. But here are two.

Happy New Year!


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1/1/2006 7:42:02 AM

 
Margie Hurwich
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/16/2005
 
 
  B/W Seashell
B/W Seashell
© Margie Hurwich
Canon EOS Digital ...
 
  B/W Broken
B/W Broken
© Margie Hurwich
Canon EOS Digital ...
 
 
OK, chalk up not submitting the photos from too many drinks last night! Here they are!


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1/1/2006 7:43:04 AM

 
Stuart U   Margie,

I like the B&W versions better. I think color didn't really add to the picture, but the B&W with the simple lines seems to feel a lot better.

The red in the background is a poinsettia. I took this picture in the conservatory at the local garden. Right now, it is set up with poinsettia of all colors.


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1/1/2006 10:25:42 AM

 
Margie Hurwich
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/16/2005
  Thanks Stuart. I may post one of the b/w in the contest...just to see if it gets comments. I'm almost thinking Seashell could now fit under elements of design. What do you think?

Also, I went back to your orchid shot. There is one small white spot in the bottom right that you could clone out...then it's perfect.


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1/1/2006 12:45:26 PM

 
Katrina McMeans
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/9/2005
  I love yout shells in B&W, Margie! I know the starfish looks great in color, but would you try that one in B&W too, just for fun?
~K


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1/1/2006 1:38:20 PM

 
Stuart U  
 
BetterPhoto.com Editor's Pick   Orchid 2
Orchid 2
© Stuart U
Canon EOS Digital ...
 
 
Margie,

I am not a Photoshop expert, but I have taken a shot at it. What do you think?

I wish I could advise you on an area to submit your shells, but I have never been a finalist and am indecisive on areas myself. I think it would look good in the elements of design, but I would like to hear what others say.


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1/1/2006 1:45:27 PM

 
Margie Hurwich
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/16/2005
 
 
  B/W Starfish
B/W Starfish
© Margie Hurwich
Canon EOS Digital ...
 
 
Stuart...you got it perfect! Great job!

As for my starfish, here it is. Let me know what you think.


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1/1/2006 2:47:34 PM

 
Stuart U   I am not a huge fan of the starfish, but I am not sure why. I think that there is not a lot of range in the greys. Or perhaps the problem is that there are not a lot of shadows.

As for the original, I thought the highlights were a bit overexposed. The conversion to B&W makes the lack of detail in the highlights stand out even more.


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1/1/2006 4:48:00 PM

 
Sharon  Day
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/27/2004
  Susan, try putting a bird feeder near your house and taking pics of birds from the window. I have a bird bath just a few feet from one of my windows and find it a great way to get photos of them. I also have a tree near the house I can hang a feeder from. Birds will land in the same spot time and again when they visit a feeder. When I want to photograph the birds I'll put a piece of cardboard in the window with an opening just large enough to fit my lens through. I use a tripod and just wait for the birds to come. When I'm finished I remove the cardboard and store it until the next time. You should be able to get close enough to the birds with a 300 telephoto lens if you can bring them in closer to you. Try an ISO of 200 to eliminate all the noise, and use a tripod. BTW, I didn't view the photos because I'm on dialup and just can't stand to wait for photos to load so I'm taking everyone's word for it they're nice pics. These are just a few things I've picked up trying to get bird shots myself. I have a pic of a robin on page 9 of my gallery. That's about as close as I've been able to come and that was by using the window as a blind.


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1/1/2006 6:17:46 PM

 
Sharon  Day
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/27/2004
  Margie, if you have any larger seashells try putting them in direct sunlight to photograph them. Seashells have some incredible colors when they are in strong enough light. I have a conch shell that just glows when I set it in a window with the sun shining in.


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1/1/2006 6:21:33 PM

 
Susan L. Vasquez
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/24/2005
  Thanks Sharon, your bird shots are great :) I really love the new seashell shot too!


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1/1/2006 6:32:06 PM

 
Irene Troy
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/27/2004
  Susan,

What I like the most about your redone robin image is the creativity it shows! You did a wonderful job turning a so-so image into something really nice. I always seem to just toss out my mistakes or to keep them around to beat myself up over. You took your self-designated mistake and turned it into art. I love it! Thank you for showing another way.

Irene


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1/1/2006 6:42:59 PM

 
Sharon  Day
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/27/2004
  Susan, I agree with Irene, you did a wonderful job of transforming the bird shot on the fence. My page finally loaded LOL. Bob had a great idea I think I'll try next time I'm in the mood to take pics and that's to add a branch near the bird bath for them to hopefully land on. I'm thinking I might even plant a small tree this spring next to the bird bath for a prop :).


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1/1/2006 6:52:26 PM

 
Susan L. Vasquez
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/24/2005
  Why thanks Irene, I actually like to take ordinary "trash" images and try to make something with it. Doesn't always work out, but it is fun to try.

ps. the robin idea wasn't my own. The very talented Deborah Sandidge does similar work, so I decided to try it for myself. I just wonder if we used the same techniques?


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1/1/2006 6:55:08 PM

 
Sharon  Day
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/27/2004
  Susan, you pretty much need something silhouetted against the sky to implement that technique don't you? I have never tried that. I've always been in awe of Deborah's work.


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1/1/2006 7:26:54 PM

 
Susan L. Vasquez
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/24/2005
 
 
 
The sky was really blown out on the original shot, which really helped me in this case.
To create the silhouette use adjustment level. To create the color, gradient layers (be creative) use soft focus, multiply..etc.
Here's how I did it, not sure if Deborah uses the same technique or not.


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1/1/2006 8:46:50 PM

 
Susan L. Vasquez
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/24/2005
  Sharon, the example is obviously not the same picture, but hope it helps :)


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1/1/2006 8:50:32 PM

 
Katrina McMeans
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/9/2005
  Margie, I think the starfish is SO much better in color. Thanks for letting me see how it looked B&W though! ; )
~K


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1/2/2006 7:49:01 AM

 
Margie Hurwich
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/16/2005
  I fully agree...and when I get the opportunity this week to shoot it with my new light kit, I'm hoping it will prove to be great.


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1/2/2006 8:47:04 AM

 
Sharon  Day
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/27/2004
  Thanks, Susan! I had a feeling that's how it was done but it's been so long since I tried that I couldn't remember. I did one myself a long time ago. I'll try and find it and upload it later. We're having company in a few minutes or I'd do it now.


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1/2/2006 9:43:11 AM

 
Collette Photography
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/21/2005
  Margie, I love the shells in B&W it adds so much more to the photo! And yeah the starfish is definitely better in color. Keep up the good work! =)

Hope every one had a good new years!

-Collette-


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1/2/2006 11:42:58 AM

 
Sharon  Day
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/27/2004
 
 
 
I did this one months ago and can't recall how I did it. I think I did the cornfield basically the same was as Susan but I used a sky from another photo.


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1/2/2006 12:53:43 PM

 
Susan L. Vasquez
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/24/2005
  Looks great Sharon, I didn't even think of trying to use a different photograph for the background....now I have new ideas :)


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1/2/2006 1:15:14 PM

 
Brendan Knell
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/17/2005
  That's really cool making silhouettes like that, I'll have to try it. I think my reply is about 102, so it's almost time for another thread! We're starting to get about as popular as the Studio Photography threads!


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1/2/2006 1:28:00 PM

 
Sharon  Day
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/27/2004
  My notes are always so brief that sometimes I have trouble retracing what I've done, but I what I have down for this is to open the silhouette pic, select all, copy then close. Open the sunset pic, edit then paste then change the blending mode to multiply. Hopefully this is what I did with this pic.


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1/2/2006 1:31:26 PM

 
Margie Hurwich
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/16/2005
  Thanks, Collette!

Sharon, did you start with a silhouette?

Susan,you started with a full shot, correct?

I need to try this!


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1/2/2006 4:37:46 PM

 
Sharon  Day
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/27/2004
  Ok, I just went back to those two images to try and recreate what I did. I selected the sky on the corn image and deleted it. I then used levels to darken the corn to black. I then opened the sunset pic and in PS CS I dragged the corn image over the sunset image and then changed the blending mode to multiply. I didn't get rid of the sky the first time I tried it and it doesn't look too good if you don't get rid of the sky. Does everyone know how to drag stuff in PS? Even that was hard for me to understand when I first began using it. I can explain more if anyone needs it.


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1/2/2006 5:04:50 PM

 
Kerby Pfrangle
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/19/2005
Contact Kerby
Kerby's Gallery
 
 
 
On this image would you place it in elements of Design or in Macro and Detail.

I want to put it in the contest and I don't know which category to pick.

Thanks for your help.

Kerby


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1/2/2006 5:56:59 PM

 
Margie Hurwich
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/16/2005
  Kerby, I'd probably put it in elements of design...simply due to the pattern of the rocks with the echo effect of the hole/bird.


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1/2/2006 6:13:14 PM

 
Wanda-Lynn Searles
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/13/2004
Contact Wanda-Lynn
Wanda-Lynn's Gallery
  Sharon,
I don't know how to drag stuff in PS could you explain it more to me?
As for photoshops I use Adobe Photoshop Elements 2.0(that I'm still having trouble understanding)but want to learn and Paint Shop Pro 8 If any of these will work let me know.Thanks.
I really want to learn how to take back grounds out and change it to something else like change the color of it and that stuff.
Wanda-Lynn


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1/2/2006 7:09:50 PM

 
Sharon  Day
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/27/2004
  When you open an image on the right (if you keep it open) there's a layer's palette. When you open a 2nd image arrange the images so you can see both of them partly and just click on the the tiny image in the layers palette and drag it over the layer you want it on top of. There are other ways of doing it too but that's the easiest for me and I'm not familiar with the others.


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1/2/2006 8:44:07 PM

 
Susan L. Vasquez
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/24/2005
  Kerby, I agree this belongs in Elements of Design :) A very nice photograph.


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1/3/2006 9:24:30 AM

 
Dr Silly
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/28/2004
  Kerby, I agree with Susan, Elements of Design. Go for it. :o)


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1/3/2006 11:21:58 AM

 
Margie Hurwich
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/16/2005
  I figured after 111 entries...I'd start a new thread. You can find it at:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/QnAdetail.asp?threadID=21527
I've uploaded a new shot of shoes for "A Forever Family".


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1/3/2006 2:07:14 PM

 
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