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The Official Head-Case Photography Thread.


Knuckledragger
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Outstanding pics Peter, as usual - and Al, on the previous page, especially those cloud pics. I would've liked to see what aperture and exposure you were using on those cloud pics, I find them tricky to properly catch at any time of day.

Here are mine from a trip into the mountains over the weekend:

I-70, shotgun view

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Snowmass Village

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Grove of aspen trees

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Maroon Bells

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Lake @ Maroon Bells

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Creek @ Maroon Bells

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More aspen trees

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Downtown Aspen

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Obligatory barn pic

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At US-82, on the way back down

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Steve, clouds can be hard to capture because they are often much brighter than the land you might try to include in a picture with them. Your D80 also has a tendency towards overexposure when used in matrix metering mode. For one you could try dialing in negative exposure compensation of 0.3 to 0.7 stops. Also check the histogram, and if the clouds are blown out, either try more negative exposure compensation, or lower your shutter speed while maintaining the same aperture and ISO in manual mode.

Another issue could be that the scene you are trying to capture exceeds the available dynamic range (i.e. bright clouds and shadows). Your shot "Maroon Bells" is a good example of this. The clouds came out nicely, but detail in the left side of the mountains is very dark. You could overcome this either redistributing dynamic range via the curves tool in photoshop or another image editing program, or by bracketing multiple shots (one to expose the highlights properly, another for the shadows, or perhaps three or more if lighting is very extreme), then combine them in software into a so-called HDR (high dynamic range) shot. The third from the last shot in my previous post is an HDR, as the mountain and sky were so bright, that exposed properly in a single ordinary shot, the water would have been very dark.

edit: also, for landscape shots like those, a smaller aperture number (like f8 or f11) tends to be better, as you will have a greater depth of field. I generally only use smaller than f8 in such situations when the light is not sufficient. This will also help with your clouds, as if the lens is not focused to infinity (say you focused on a tree ten feet away), you will have better odds that the depth of field will extend to infinity. Be careful about going over f11, as diffraction starts to set in on a 10MP camera, and make the pictures less sharp. I still use up to F16 if I absolutely need to for depth of field, but never over that. Also remember that depth of field is a function of focal length. I almost never use over F8 at 10mm, but I often use f11, even f13-16, when shooting 60mm and up. Using a circular polarizing filter will also help the clouds 'pop' better from the sky.

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First of all: Hi again everyone :)

I can get two people in focus @ F/2 with my 35mm quite often. To a lesser extent, with my 50mm as well. Thusfar with the 85mm, I've had some difficulty getting one cat completely in focus @ F/2:

This is one of those instances in which both the fore- and background are quite fuzzy.

The larger the amount of mm (35mm -> 50mm -> 85mm) the less DOF you have. Try that shot again but than using an aperture of 8 or 11. The cat should be in focus completely. In order to do it even better you should focus about one third of the cat and you should have zero problems at all.

About that cloud stuff, you could also work with a filter that is halfgrey. The half grey part used for the sky to decrease contrast between the 2 parts.

So, from digital to analog, my darkroom is nearly finished. I just need to fix the safelights, the power for the electrical components and we're all set to go. Needless to say I am more than happy ---> digital =byebye :D

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The larger the amount of mm (35mm -> 50mm -> 85mm) the less DOF you have. Try that shot again but than using an aperture of 8 or 11. The cat should be in focus completely. In order to do it even better you should focus about one third of the cat and you should have zero problems at all.

Yes, I'm pretty familiar with DoF vs. focal length, aperture, and subject distance. :) My point was more that I know how to get the results I want out of my 35mm prime, but the 85mm continues to beguile me. I'd not put up with it if it didn't have such gorgeous bokeh.

Wow, that's one sweet looking darkroom you have set up there. I have a tentative plan to convert the downstairs bathroom in my house (already in need of serious renovation) into a darkroom next year. I forget, what kind of film do you shoot? It looks like you have plenty of elbow room for medium or large format negatives there.

Edit: I forgot to post a picture. I cheat and use HDR for clouds:

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Widescreen edition. Normally I am very careful to crop my photos in a specific apsect ration (3:2, 5:4, square) but for this shot I decided to have a little fun with it. I didn't have a tripod, so I set my camera on a fence post across from the field. Made with three exposures in Photomatix, and cleaned up substantially in Photoshop.

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Yes, I'm pretty familiar with DoF vs. focal length, aperture, and subject distance. :) My point was more that I know how to get the results I want out of my 35mm prime, but the 85mm continues to beguile me.

I thought you already were familiar with those concepts that's why I don't understand your question.

Wow, that's one sweet looking darkroom you have set up there. I have a tentative plan to convert the downstairs bathroom in my house (already in need of serious renovation) into a darkroom next year. I forget, what kind of film do you shoot? It looks like you have plenty of elbow room for medium or large format negatives there.

Thanx. It's the nicest one I've ever had especially with the running (hot) water.

I still shoot mostly 35mm film. I tried the RolleiCord that crossed my path recently and it appeared the shutter leaks light. The Minolta TLR doesn't work properly too, as does the Ikonflex, the Rolleiflex etc so that's kind of a bummer. Now that I've tasted the 6x6 format outside and at home I am sold and I want to work with that in the future. I just bought an ed9 lately and my cash is sort of failing short now haha!

I have an 8X10" wooden camera waiting for me to pick it up so we might have some interesting things soon yeah!! My enlarger"unfortunately" just prints till 6x9..

Qua type of film..I used to work with Kodak Tri-X but since I found out the Kodak Technical Pan films I am using Rollei ATP and might be using Gigabit TP in the future, depending on how it rolls.

Good luck with setting up a darkroom !!! :)

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...my darkroom is nearly finished. I just need to fix the safelights, the power for the electrical components and we're all set to go. Needless to say I am more than happy ---> digital =byebye :D

nr5055smallwn1.jpg

Indra, NICE!! Durst enlargers? M670 & M805? What lenses? Nevermind you probably have Schneiders (nothing but the best).

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Indra, NICE!! Durst enlargers? M670 & M805? What lenses? Nevermind you probably have Schneiders (nothing but the best).

Hey ThanX! The left enlarger is my first one, the Durst M605 and the one on the right is the one I use now, the Durst DA900. I have several lenses, but I lost a really nice one, Schneider 50mm 2.8 if I recall correctly, during all my moving some yrs ago.

My collection currently holds:

Rodenstock Rodagon 50mm f2.8

Schneider Durst Componon 50mm f4

Schneider Componon-S 80mm f5.6

Schneider Componon-S 100mm f5.6

Schneider Comparon 105mm f4.5

Rodenstock Rodagon 135mm f5.6

I don't know if they are all that good. 2 of them came with the DA900, 2 of them I bought over the internet and 2 of them I got from Samgotit over at Head-Fi. They unfortunately don't all fit the DA900 but I still have to look into that properly to see if I can make it work.

Ow, and nice tune-up Iron Dreamer!

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Oh hai. I'm back from MV, with two rolls of Velvia to develop, and a mostly full CF card. It'll be, uh, a minute before I've waded through all of it. This was the second trip I've made to MV with my Macintop in tow, but this is the first where I've had Photoshop and Photomatix (HDR program) loaded on to it. Additionally I brought my memory card reader. It made accessing the images much easier, without having to do battle with iPhoto and the like. Separated from the myriad distractions of the mainland, edited photos with remarkable efficiency. I have have four directories of pictures from my earlier trips to MV that I've scarcely begun to wade through. Had I bought this lappy in March instead of June, they might have seen the light of day by now.

Photomatix on the Mac is just enough different from the Windows version that it took me about twice as long as it normally would for me to process pictures. Producing pseudo-HDR from a single RAW exposure is always more tricky than working from three or more bracketed jpegs. Photoshop CS3 on the Mac is also a wee bit different than PS CS2 on the PC. It is of course an epically more complex program than Photomatix, so the unlearn/re-learn curve is much steeper. Simple tasks remain simple, once I get past the "WTF is the key combo for that command?" point.

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The first is from one RAW exposure, and the second is from three bracketed jpegs. I didn't have my tripod with me, so I sat my 30D on the corner of the railing on the Edgartown Wharf and hoped for the best. I planned on substantial cropping and straightening, but very little was needed in the end. Lots more to follow, but I have to be on the air at midnight.

Edited by EdipisReks
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Got a color version of that? It's a great image but for my eyes not enough stark contrast to be really great in B&W. Great composition though.

Here is a color shot of a different comp from that area. That fist one was an HDR, so I was more focused on preserving the shadow detail. Besides, in real life, there was not a part of that scene truly all THAT dark.

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  • 2 weeks later...

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I got back 3 rolls of Velvia 50 from Iris Photo today. The only problem is that I gave then four rolls of film yesterday. The missing one is a 12-exp roll of ISO 800 print film, but it contains shots taken with my massive manual focus East German 300mm, and I'd uh like to see them.

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I addition to that, I'm really not happy with this round of scans. The actual slides look quite good, but the scans have serious dynamic range issues, particularly in the highlights. I need to buy a scanner STAT. Either a good flatbed that can do slides, or a dedicated slide/film scanner. I don't need to pay these idiots for crappy scans.

The shot at the top of the post was made with Velvia 50 and my 17-40L @ 17mm F/8, 1/45th + a circular polarizer. It's become clear to me that using the CP with Velvia 50 produces gorgeous colors, but the polarizing effect comes out much stronger on film that it does in the viewfinder. I've got quite a few shots where the great polarized band in the sky is quite visible. It's an amusing effect, but I don't always want it in my photos.

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I finally got my roll of print film back. This was taken with my Meyer Optik Orestor 135mm F/2.8 lens, with its stellar 15 blade aperture. This was shot at a fairly wide F/5.6 and 1/750th. A pity about that nasty crack Iris left on the frame. Curiously, it's not on the print. knuckledragger-albums-smileys-picture241-blink.gif

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  • 2 weeks later...
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