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Discussions on Equipment, Locations and Tips for getting the photographs you want of Vermont scenes.Note: You must be registered in order to post. If you have trouble registering, use the contact us form on Scenes of Vermont's home page.

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ctyanky
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Post: # 7285Post ctyanky
Tue Sep 30, 2008 12:14 pm

Carol: what a lovely thing to write. You are going to make me cry and I don't even know you! :cry: :cry: :cry:

You have been a wealth of knowledge to everyone else and the forum, be it photography or foliage, and it would not be the same without your contributions, humor and love of Vermont. You are blessed to have a home there, it was meant to be.

When I am in not in Vermont, I can always look at your photos and imagine I am exactly where you took the pictures. Many of your shots tell a story - I have looked at them many times over and always have a smile on my face. You capture the heart and soul of Vermont in them, and for that, I am grateful.

Shine on my foliage friend! CT


Andy
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Post: # 7308Post Andy
Tue Sep 30, 2008 4:56 pm

Hmm. Thanks Carol. I thought you were making me cry, too, and then I realized someone was just stepping on my toe :lol: .

The one piece of advice which I fear comes too easily for me these days is Phil's. For me to empty my brain doesn't take much doing -- as there just isn't much to empty :)

I do hope this will become a more active forum, particularly "off season." My experience with the foliage site is that it rocks and rolls from the tail end of August until the last leaf drops and then it "hibernates." Vermont is a 3-season (mud doesn't photograph real well) destination. There is lots to photo in all seasons and I hope some of us can continue to exploit and discuss that.

Good luck this weekend. Hoping for a great show from Vermont and MN! (No, that's NOT Minnesota)
Andy

If it sounds too good to be true, its probably . . . .

pwt54
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Post: # 7327Post pwt54
Tue Sep 30, 2008 7:53 pm

I've been reading this forum right along. I don't write in this forum because I'm not much of an expert. One thing i can tell you is that my poor old panasonic FZ30 can compete with my new canon G-9 when it comes to foliage photos. What makes me cry is i don't have any more relatives who needs a camera, so I don't have an excuse to buy a new one. The panasonic can take filters but I not sure which one to get for foliage. I've downloaded a little piece of software called dcehance/filtersim that mimics an assortment of filters. I'm going to work on a few panasonic photos and get an idea what might work. I may have mentioned this before, but for you folks that have the newer canon A, SD, and G models, use the underwater setting in the scenery mode for foliage. It's not cheating, it's Artistic License. With the G-9,most of the time I use the program mode and use the exposure setting to fine tune. Now think about it, i used that trick on my old canon SD 500, too.

Andy
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Post: # 7361Post Andy
Wed Oct 01, 2008 12:30 pm

I guess you would be called a "lurker", then hey Phil?? :P

Sometimes its the non-technical insight that really jumpstarts a discussion and can motivate some of us to take photographs we wouldn't have thought of. And, you have been a great help to me and I am certain, others, with your near-encyclopedic knowledge of the "locations" in Vermont. So thanks.

Being stuck with a right-side brain (albeit empty :) ), I'll comment on the "filter" and "mode" issues:

Digital and Film are VERY different "animals." With a filter on the camera lens, what we are doing is altering the "qualilty" of the light that is hitting the film or digital sensor. In my own view, the only such filter that makes a real difference anymore is a polarizer, because of the way it works.

With film, the problem was that once you exposed it, you pretty much lived with the result from development, depending on the characteristics of the film and the development process.

With digital, (including, to some extent, digital scans from film), we can "manipulate" (kind of an "loaded" term in some forums) the image in terms of the color and quality of light, in ways we just couldn't easily do with film (even in a skilled darkroom environment).

A digital photo (technically "capture" from a camera sensor) is "zeros" and "ones" at it root. Some kind of software has to take these "bits and bytes" and convert it to colors and graphics we can see and make sense of. There are numerous file formats which are the "finished product," the most common of which--in consumer cameras--is JPEG. It has some significant "shortfalls" which would be good for another discussion, but in all has become the accepted and perhaps best for the use format for P&S cameras (and indeed, many professional photogs, using "professional" level cameras shoot in jpeg).

What WE do with the digital file to "make it look better" or to make it look like we want it to look, is commonly called "Post Processing."

All digital cameras have the ability to do some post processing and virtually all consumer P&S cameras do some post-processing. When you set your camera setting, for example to "sharper" the camera is doing a post-processing step (essentially, it is being a computer). Arguably (again, good for another topic) you can always do a better job of sharpening in good post-processing software in your computer. But most consumers don't want that. They want it to be like their former film cameras. They take the shot and take the disk to Walmart and get prints and disk. So, the cameras have to be able to process the digital file to get a reasonable result. Likewise, "vivid" settings is simply a color boost which is done in the software.

"Modes" (whew. Finally! :) ) are nothing more than a "post-processing" setting in the camera, in most cases (they may also adjust shutter speeds and focusing, etc.) -- but for example like the "underwater mode." Don't get me wrong. I think Phil's suggestion to try these settings is RIGHT ON! What you have is a pretty powerful artistic tool in your hands, with no downside (you aren't "wasting" film and processing costs). Do experiment.

Software "filters" are really the same thing. Photoshop, Elements and other programs give you the ability to tweak, change, and adjust colors in a digital photo in a myriad of ways. You can create your own filter. With the downloaded filters, someone has done that for you. Sometimes thats good, but sometimes its not.

Jpeg has some baggage with it that I'll call "destructive editing." Some of the things you do to a photo (including the photo filters) will break a photo down to the point it just doesn't look good anymore. BE SURE to work on a COPY of your original file with this stuff. Every time you make a change and save that to the jpeg file, it breaks down a little more.

O.k. Thats long enough :roll:
Andy

If it sounds too good to be true, its probably . . . .

Andy
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Post: # 7362Post Andy
Wed Oct 01, 2008 12:34 pm

I wanted to make another comment about Phil's comment "its not cheating, its artistic license." I couldn't agree more! We are not newspaper reporters or crime scene (I hope) photographers, here. I look at a photo and try to make it look the way I want it to look. I don't try to tell people its some scientific reality. I want viewers to say wow, that grabs me and I would like to hang that on my wall and look at it day in and day out. I will usually try to take some photos "representative" of what I see. But I always try to push the envelope too, after I have those photos, and try something new. I am not sure what the underwater feature does (Phil?) but I am all for it.
Andy

If it sounds too good to be true, its probably . . . .


pwt54
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Post: # 7401Post pwt54
Wed Oct 01, 2008 4:55 pm

I do have the polarizer but it doesn't help much. I'm no expert, but I think that the "software" in the digital cameras are biased toward the blue. What the underwater mode ( and the aquarium mode somewhat) does is remove most of the blue so you can get a clear shot underwater. Right now I have about 80 photos I took this weekend with the G-9. Man! I don't think anything will help my Panasonic compete with the G-9 for foliage photos. I'm going to have a rough time choosing which photos to post on my webshots site.

Andy
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Post: # 7404Post Andy
Wed Oct 01, 2008 6:00 pm

Carol: Linear vs. Circular Polarizer -----

The only difference is how they operate with a camera's Auto Focus System. Otherwise they perform identically. A linear polarizer will not usually work with auto focus (it will polarize) but the camera/lens will not AF properly.

What a Polarizer does is filters out the "short" light rays (which tend to be predominantly toward the blue spectrum. The short rays come in at all different angles and create unwanted reflections. The polarizer kind of "lines up" the longer light rays, which gives the subject much more definition and makes it pop.

In most conditions, it only works at a 90 degree angle to the sun. Two places where that "rule of thumb" may not apply are foliage and water shots. That is because with all the surfaces, some of them are bound to be at 90 degrees.

You have to be careful not to "overuse" the polarizer and get unnatural results (unless, in the name of artistic license, you want that :wink: ). This is particularly true with clear blue skies where the PZ can turn them almost black. It can also create vignetting or uneven color across the sky.

My dSLR camera has a through-the-lens view finder. When I look through it, I "see" what the lens is seeing. It is pretty easy to use a polarizer (it rotates on the front of the lens for those unfamiliar) in those conditions.

I am not sure how you effectively use it with the screens on the back of the camera.
Andy

If it sounds too good to be true, its probably . . . .

Andy
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Post: # 7405Post Andy
Wed Oct 01, 2008 6:04 pm

Phil: Do you use any photo-editing software? The camera sensors actually only (theoretically) capture red, green and blue pixels and the theory is that most sensors have 2 times as many GREEN sensors as blue. But every "flavor" sensor is different in what it yields. There may be an adjustment in your camera (perhaps white balance). Often letting the camera "automatically" set the white balance is a mistake. You may want to experiment with that (the "underwater" setting is probably a white balance adjustment). For example, shooting jpeg with the Nikon dSLR, it used to be thought that in normal conditions, you should set the white balance for "cloudy, -2" for optimal color balance.

If you use photo-editing, you MAY be able to "desaturate" the blues in your images before having them printed.
Andy

If it sounds too good to be true, its probably . . . .

pwt54
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Post: # 7412Post pwt54
Wed Oct 01, 2008 7:23 pm

Yeah. I have the MS Digital Photo "thingy". I'm thinking of switching to Photoshop Elements, but I may have to put more memory in the old laptop.

autzig
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Post: # 7428Post autzig
Thu Oct 02, 2008 6:40 am

Those who think that making adjustments to a digital photo is somehow altering the photo fail to think that when they take their film into Walmart, that the developing machines there have standard adjustments that enhance the photo, including color saturation and sharpening. Most people would be very dissatisfied with the way their photos look if they got them back exactly the way they came out of the camera.

Andy
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Post: # 7445Post Andy
Thu Oct 02, 2008 12:31 pm

Phil: The newest version of Elements (is it 5??) is really pretty powerful. I downloaded a trial version a few months back to look at it for my sister and was pleasantly surprised how photographer-friendly it has become.

While it won't do the things full Photoshop Does, it has a lot in common with it and since probably the majority of folks using higher-end software use Photoshop, a lot of what they say about how to do things translates well into Elements (for those who didn't know, Adobe is the publisher of both Elements and Photoshop). I believe Elements has "photo filters" built into it. You can do a lot with those (though they are really just making color adjustments to the photograph). If you know how to do that you are usually going to do it manually, "to taste."
Andy

If it sounds too good to be true, its probably . . . .

pwt54
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Post: # 7471Post pwt54
Thu Oct 02, 2008 5:32 pm

Okay, you sold me. I may have to wait a while to let my bank account recover from Florida, 2 birthdays, and jingle bells season.

Andy
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Post: # 7508Post Andy
Fri Oct 03, 2008 12:35 pm

pwt54 wrote:Okay, you sold me. I may have to wait a while to let my bank account recover from Florida, 2 birthdays, and jingle bells season.
Nah! Here's what you do. If you can't afford it, you go out and get yourself a new VISA card with a much bigger credit limit than you'll ever need. Then you go out charge the stuff you want, but can't afford. Then, when things look really bad, like you might get it cancelled, or have to file personal bankruptcy, go do a different issuer, get an even bigger limit, and transfer the balance. If there is ONE thing I have learned this week, its that we don't have to pay for things and just because we can't afford it is no reason not to buy them!! :wink:

Oops, I am getting you confused with Congress. Sorry. Disregard.
Andy

If it sounds too good to be true, its probably . . . .

pwt54
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Post: # 7534Post pwt54
Fri Oct 03, 2008 6:51 pm

Or I could get a subprime credit card and wait for the government to give a 700 billion dolloar bailout. But I won't accept it without a middle class tax cut. Wait a minute, if I get 700 billion will I still be middle class ? :?


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