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Tuscany - First visit this year  Rate Topic 
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Posted by chrisbet: Thu Mar 21st, 2019 18:12 1st Post
She is waiting for me :smilesmall:


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Posted by jk: Thu Mar 21st, 2019 19:21 2nd Post
Lucky man.  Hope that all goes well.



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Posted by chrisbet: Sun Mar 24th, 2019 17:15 3rd Post
Did some testing today with the 50mm prime - there seemed to be no difference in sharpness at different f stops.


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Posted by Robert: Sun Mar 24th, 2019 20:24 4th Post
Which 50 do you have?

The difference will be not so much in the sharpness, but the rendering of the out of focus parts, the bokeh.  The 'faster' the lens the softer and more pronounced the bokeh, there is plenty of distance from the subject to the background, it should have worked well.

A wide aperture should have rendered the branches in the background much softer than they appear in that image.  Difficult to tell but I think there might be slight camera movement, the nostril whiskers should have been pretty sharp at that distance, they seem to be softer and wider than I might have expected, suggesting movement.  Higher shutter speed and wider aperture needed, to soften the background and prevent slight movement from blurring the image.  I would have gone either wide open or one stop from wide open (depending on the lens) and at least 1/500sec exposure, adjusting the ISO to get the exposure right.



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Posted by jk: Sun Mar 24th, 2019 21:18 5th Post
The 50mm lenses in any manufacturer range are usually the sharpest and cheapest lenses in the range.
However if you  push for super large aperture then cost increases but quality does not rise by much if anything.

The Nikon 50mm f1.8 is good and it is difficult to find a sharper lens.



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Posted by chrisbet: Mon Mar 25th, 2019 10:07 6th Post
Hmm - still having focus issues - need to play with different settings on the auofocus to see if that is the problem or there is an issue with camera since the 55- 200 was also soft.

Best one today -


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Posted by jk: Mon Mar 25th, 2019 10:10 7th Post
The dog tag and the whiskers under the chin are sharp.
Where were you focussing?

What focus mode are you using?

EXIF details say f1.8 which means it is going to be really easy to miss focus and then what you wanted to be in focus is lost!



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Posted by chrisbet: Mon Mar 25th, 2019 10:32 8th Post
I was focussing on the dog's head and see that the sand in front and just behind gives a good idea of dof

I was using af-a and the area focus - I am going to try again with spot focus this pm



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Posted by jk: Mon Mar 25th, 2019 11:07 9th Post
I use centre spot focus for everything except Birds in Flight where I use Dynamic AF.  I focus and recompose.



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Posted by chrisbet: Mon Mar 25th, 2019 11:35 10th Post
70-300 center spot focus wide open. The VR helps a great deal !


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Posted by chrisbet: Mon Mar 25th, 2019 11:41 11th Post
I was focussing on the riders leg - maybe one stop down would have brought thr horse's nose into focus?



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Posted by chrisbet: Mon Mar 25th, 2019 11:55 12th Post
I wish they built a dof indicator into the camera - at greater distance I need less dof cos the horse is side on, at closer distance I need more dof as the horse is more end on, so I have to juggle distance with aperture...



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Posted by jk: Mon Mar 25th, 2019 12:42 13th Post
I know this doesnt necessarily jive with the full fat form of DOF theory.

I always focus on the closest point of interest that I want in focus.
I know that the theory says that 1/3 of DOF in front of focus point and 2/3 of DOF behind point of focus but .......

If I want to use the largest aperture and get best DOF then I put camera on a tripod and then I can actually make sure that any sway or movement on my part as photographer is removed from the equation.


If you want to check this and to magnify this the get a macro lens and see how swaying just a little changes what is in focus.



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Posted by chrisbet: Mon Mar 25th, 2019 17:44 14th Post
Starting to quite like the 70-300 !


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Posted by Robert: Mon Mar 25th, 2019 20:28 15th Post
That's better Chris. :thumbs:



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Posted by jk: Mon Mar 25th, 2019 20:50 16th Post
Yes that looks sharper.



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Posted by Robert: Mon Mar 25th, 2019 20:55 17th Post
Getting the lighting right helps too, gives the AF  more detail to work with.  Side lighting and back lighting are OK but then you need to be much more careful with the focusing, especially in brighter light, the contrast is greater.



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Posted by chrisbet: Wed Mar 27th, 2019 10:20 18th Post
Today's close ups with the 50mm





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Posted by jk: Wed Mar 27th, 2019 10:33 19th Post
All very sharp  in certain areas.

:-)



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Posted by chrisbet: Wed Mar 27th, 2019 10:45 20th Post
Yes, the dog was difficult as he was sitting on my lap!!



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Posted by Eric: Wed Mar 27th, 2019 12:00 21st Post
chrisbet wrote:
Yes, the dog was difficult as he was sitting on my lap!! Not sure what you are trying to establish or confirm here, Chris? Are you concerned about the sharpness of the lenses, the resolving power of the D90 or your technique?

For what it’s worth.... using a 50mm lens at f2.5 on a subject at 500mm? distance (about your lap size?) will give you a depth of field of just 10mm! Even at f16 it’s only 55-60mm. So you aren’t going to learn anything about the lens sharpness working that close.

I know people talk about using wide apertures to isolate and draw greater attention on some detail but I think that’s sometimes over egged by many photographers. IMHO. Sometimes getting a good composition and dynamic lighting is sufficient to tell the story...even at f8!  

So what are your concerns now?



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Posted by Eric: Wed Mar 27th, 2019 12:12 22nd Post
chrisbet wrote:
I was focussing on the dog's head and see that the sand in front and just behind gives a good idea of dof

I was using af-a and the area focus - I am going to try again with spot focus this pm
Just spotted you said you were using the AF-A.

Take it off that....you are letting the camera decide what to focus on. Use AF-S for static subjects and single spot focusing mode.



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Eric


Posted by chrisbet: Wed Mar 27th, 2019 14:23 23rd Post








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Posted by chrisbet: Wed Mar 27th, 2019 14:27 24th Post
I am just exploring the limits of the lenses. Yes I have switched to manual with af-s or af-c for the ones of the moving horse.



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Posted by chrisbet: Wed Mar 27th, 2019 14:39 25th Post
I took a whole series of photos of the horse  being lunged and as this is on a circle the distance to the subject is constantly changing - I found that using af-c spot focusing gave erractic results - the spot has only to slip off the horse onto the background as the horse bucks or leaps and you get a fuzzy horse ! 😂



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Posted by Eric: Wed Mar 27th, 2019 14:40 26th Post
chrisbet wrote:
I am just exploring the limits of the lenses. Yes I have switched to manual with af-s or af-c for the ones of the moving horse. Ah ok.

Were you deliberately overexposing the white horse shots then?  
It’s just that you’ve blown the highlights and have no true black in the last image for one.

Getting the black point set correctly will help sharpness.....

Attachment: 4B685036-F5B7-44C3-8C59-AE78966C074E.jpeg (Downloaded 86 times)

Last edited on Wed Mar 27th, 2019 14:44 by Eric



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Posted by Eric: Wed Mar 27th, 2019 14:48 27th Post
Like this......

Attachment: 8850A724-A43D-4302-AF61-87DE9284BB01.jpeg (Downloaded 84 times)



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Eric


Posted by chrisbet: Wed Mar 27th, 2019 18:04 28th Post
Ahh - thanks - that was my next project to learn about the histograms 😊



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Posted by chrisbet: Sun Mar 31st, 2019 09:35 29th Post
I have downloaded Darktable for Linux - methinks it will take a while to master the filters....

but this is my first attempt at post processing using it - comments?


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Posted by jk: Sun Mar 31st, 2019 12:33 30th Post
Also try LightZone for linux.  It is free.
http://lightzoneproject.org

This uses the Zone system as its method of determining curves/levels.  It takes a little getting used to initially but is very good.



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Posted by Eric: Sun Mar 31st, 2019 14:59 31st Post
The processing and exposure seem fine.

I am more concerned about the fact the subject is not in as sharp focus as the background. For example the red bench is sharper than the horse and rider.

This could mean one of two things....

1. The subject was moving too quickly for your chosen shutter speed.
    Choosing a higher shutter speed or even panning with the horse as it passes by would counter this.


2. You have focused inadvertently on the background.
    This may not be YOU, as the lens itself could have tendency to back focus. But it could also be your technique.


I would try panning as the horse comes across you. Remember to keep panning with the horse even AFTER you have hit the shutter.  This panning movement will tend blur the static back ground elements making the foreground look even sharper by contrast.



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Eric


Posted by jk: Sun Mar 31st, 2019 17:48 32nd Post
Do you remember/know the position of the focus point when you pressed the shutter or the point you were focussing on the horse or rider.

If I was shooting I would be using the white blanket and the saddle at rider's knee as my focus point.  This is a high contrast target that your camera's AF will fond it easier to latch onto.
Do not focus on the horse's flank or neck as this is one colour and low contrast and the AF will work less well.



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Posted by chrisbet: Sun Mar 31st, 2019 20:32 33rd Post
Yes - I focus on the saddle / saddle pad line - following an earlier comment on contrast.

One of the problems is that the horse is not moving in a constant direction - legs go back and forth in opposition and the back flexes as does the head & neck - hence my use of high shutter speeds - 1/2500 for that shot.

Yes, I was panning with the horse and that is one of a burst of exposures. These three taken in less than a second give an idea of the range of movement ...










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Posted by jk: Sun Mar 31st, 2019 20:49 34th Post
Looks like I need to come to Tuscany!   
Sigh..... such a trial now there is no freedom of movement!  
Well if JR-M can, then I can, as he only went to a 'rich boys with no intelligence school'.  :devil::lol:



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Posted by chrisbet: Sun Mar 31st, 2019 21:21 35th Post
We haven't left  yet .... maybe never will!

It's not going to stop me going to Tuscany - might even get dual nationality, keep options open!



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Posted by Eric: Sun Mar 31st, 2019 21:29 36th Post
Sorry but the bracket on the scaffold board bottom left corner and the M on the sign extreme right are sharper than the subject.

If you are using 1/2500, with should be sufficient to freeze SOMETHING of the subject.....then I fear that lens is back focusing.



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Eric


Posted by jk: Sun Mar 31st, 2019 21:32 37th Post
I am never sure with these AF problems.  
Is it the lens back focusing or is it the camera's  AF that needs adjustment?
Need to test with several lenses I guess.

My D90 that I use with a 18-200 VR is very sharp but I only use it in Spain when I am out walking.



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Posted by Eric: Sun Mar 31st, 2019 21:51 38th Post
I don’t wish to labour the focus point but this photo was 70mm, f5.6, 1/640th and 1000iso. (It’s a low res jpg so the photo isn’t as sharp as the original)
They were going hell for leather, so I had no time to wait to focus...I couldn’t even see them coming.

I set focus to manual and prefocused on the fence, and fired as the horses head appeared.

I appreciate your subject may be more unpredictable in her line/position, but your depth of field and shutter speed should be sufficient to cover her movements. 

Don’t quite understand why the action isn’t being frozen and the background is sharp ....unless the focus point is behind the subject??

Attachment: 1732823D-C6CB-4EB2-A55C-B0BEB67EBDE9.jpeg (Downloaded 36 times)

Last edited on Sun Mar 31st, 2019 21:53 by Eric



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Posted by Eric: Sun Mar 31st, 2019 22:03 39th Post
And this one is f2.8 at 1/2500th at a focal length of 150mm.  (Again the full size file is sharp side to side)

Note the depth of field ....even at f2.8. The sign at the back of the jump right through to the front left of the jump are sharp. This should have given you enough dof to cater for mis position on your picture. So something isn’t right.

Attachment: FBE8F0D5-D567-4AB8-9F9D-9525BF4E3810.jpeg (Downloaded 32 times)

Last edited on Sun Mar 31st, 2019 22:04 by Eric



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Posted by chrisbet: Sun Mar 31st, 2019 22:35 40th Post
Hmm - yes, something isn't right and since I had the issue with the 55-200 as well, I wonder if it is the camera.

There doesn't seem to be a fine adjustment for AF in the camera's menu - any ideas?



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Posted by chrisbet: Sun Mar 31st, 2019 23:00 41st Post
Calculating the dof at the settings for that first pic gives something like 10 feet in front of the horse to 15 feet behind - maybe there is an issue with the body. I don't know its history - how much is it likely to cost to get it serviced?



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Posted by Eric: Sun Mar 31st, 2019 23:04 42nd Post
chrisbet wrote:
Hmm - yes, something isn't right and since I had the issue with the 55-200 as well, I wonder if it is the camera.

There doesn't seem to be a fine adjustment for AF in the camera's menu - any ideas?
If it were me, I would go out and place a small object (piece of paper) at the nearest distance I anticipate the horse will come. Focus on THAT object and see if IT or the background or both are sharp at f5.6 (a good safe starting point for most lenses).

I would then set the focus to Manual, confirm the focus spot and shoot the passing horse without adjusting focus....several times. (That way you decouple the AF from the process.)

I do wonder if the camera is changing focus point at the time of hitting the shutter?


You could decouple focus from the shutter button by assigning the rear AE-L button to focus ( p200 in manual, custom function f4 to AF-ON)

I use this method all the time but especially for moving subjects. It can take some time getting use to focusing with your thumb, separate from operating the shutter in the usual manner. But you might find it helps as an alternative to manual focus while you re testing things.



____________________
Eric


Posted by chrisbet: Sun Mar 31st, 2019 23:11 43rd Post
Thanks Eric - I will try your suggestions and see what the result is.



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Posted by chrisbet: Tue Apr 2nd, 2019 22:52 44th Post
Reviewing the photos I took last in tuscany using the 70-300 lens, all the f5.6 / f4.5 ones are focusing behind the subject so I don't think it is technique - those taken at f8 were sharp like this one - if you look at the sand you can see the horse is pretty well in the centre of the dof.

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Posted by Eric: Wed Apr 3rd, 2019 08:48 45th Post
Nothing wrong with the focus on that image.

The horse is overexposed (whiter than the background) and this leads to loss of detail in the body. I’ve selectively darkened the horse a tad, on the image below ....but it only adds a smidging extra detail. The problem is that the horse body is primarily low contrast but also overexposed ...so can’t be back adjusted.

The other thing I notice is iso noise and some jpegging artefacts.....these can also add to the appearance of soft focus in areas of low contrast. It’s less obvious in the contrasty sand for example.

Clearly using 6400 iso is too far on the D90. I seem to recall never going beyond 1600 back in the day when my wife used the D90.  I understand it was necessary for the shutter speed you chose but you should have still frozen the action at 2000th. 

I assume you are using camera settings to maximum quality and minimise compression of your JPEGs. So that really only leaves a couple more suggestions.... try setting exp comp to -1/3 or even -2/3 for the light horse and drop ISO to 3200 better still 1600.

Can’t explain why the lens back focuses at wider apertures....maybe being narrower dof field it’s just more obvious? 

Normally mis focusing is more likely to be a function of the focal length on zoom lenses. That’s why it’s harder to optimise the AF on a zoom .....often one end is sharper than the other due to the factory’s compromise setting.

I’ve shied away from saying change the camera. But it’s true that advances in processors and sensors will improve performance under these sort of exacting conditions.

Last edited on Wed Apr 3rd, 2019 08:50 by Eric



____________________
Eric


Posted by jk: Wed Apr 3rd, 2019 09:32 46th Post
Agree with Eric.

ISO at 6400 is very high.  That is the max limit that I use for my D3S, Z7, D500 and D850.  These are newer cameras with better EXPEED electronics.

Regarding the AF I can suggest a test that may lock this down to either lens or camera.

Take a look at this url and test as described.
https://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2010/11/how-to-test-a-lens/

Look at step2.
You can substitute a newspaper or a magazine page for the testing.

I use this method.
http://www.zen20934.zen.co.uk/photography/LensTests/simplemethod.htm

This is an alternative method.
https://backcountrygallery.com/lens-sharpness-testing/



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Posted by Eric: Wed Apr 3rd, 2019 13:51 47th Post
The sad fact is that there are only 3 reasons for an out of focus image...

1. The lens is faulty
2. The camera is faulty
3. The technique is faulty.

I suppose a 4th reason might be a combination of 2 or more of these points. 

Isolating each one in turn with structured testing is the only way to sort the problem.


But from that photo, at that f-stop, I can’t believe the lens is faulty?

Last edited on Wed Apr 3rd, 2019 13:54 by Eric



____________________
Eric


Posted by Eric: Wed Apr 3rd, 2019 14:18 48th Post
Just as an aside.....

My wife upgraded her D90 to a D7000 and found it significantly better in terms of IQ (with same lens) and more ‘responsive’.

Further iterations of the D7xxx have no doubt further progressed the performance.

But if I were in your situation, and didn’t want to spend too much at this time, I might be inclined to order in a used D7000 on a 14day unconditional return (like this one ... https://www.wexphotovideo.com/nikon-d7000-digital-slr-camera-body-used-1696828/). Sometimes having a comparison to hand will clarify the thinking.

Alternatively you can pay WEX a visit ...they are happy to let you shoot off some files with your lens and SD card on their bodies before purchasing.

.....and it that doesn’t suit, you are more than welcome to pop up to Kings Lynn and have a play with my cameras and lenses. ( admittedly far more limited than JKs collection....but he is in the deep SWest);-)

Last edited on Wed Apr 3rd, 2019 14:20 by Eric



____________________
Eric


Posted by jk: Wed Apr 3rd, 2019 14:48 49th Post
Yes if you want to test AF then I have a good collection of cameras here but the best test would be with my D90 which is in Spain.

Flights from Heathrow to Newquay go twice daily!
o.O



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Posted by chrisbet: Wed Apr 3rd, 2019 18:07 50th Post
Lol - I have a better idea - all fly out to Tuscany and enjoy some chianti, food and clear night skies :wine:

Actually I was looking at a 610 that oddly seems cheaper to buy than the 7200



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Posted by jk: Wed Apr 3rd, 2019 19:00 51st Post
I have a D600 and it is really good, the D610 is its replacement when some of the D600 had problems with the shutter spurting oil.  No issues with my one thank goodness.

You need to check on the suitability of your lenses to cover full frame (FX) sensor, any lenses marked with DX in their naming will be unsuitable!



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Posted by chrisbet: Thu May 2nd, 2019 08:34 52nd Post
Well just back from Tuscany and a few more photos - I love the way the horse is mirroring her leader in this one -


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Posted by chrisbet: Thu May 2nd, 2019 08:40 53rd Post
Bay horses are much easier to focus on compared with the greys...


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If it is broken it was probably me ....


Posted by chrisbet: Thu May 2nd, 2019 08:43 54th Post
... unless you get in close -


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Posted by chrisbet: Thu Jun 13th, 2019 04:39 55th Post
Beautiful spanish stallion



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Posted by Eric: Sun Jun 16th, 2019 13:35 56th Post
chrisbet wrote:
Beautiful spanish stallion



I presume you meant the horse? 😆 

On a more serious note....the lenses seem to be delivering, Chris.

I am afraid to say it, but if that’s still the D90, the next significant quality improvement must be the camera body. You would see a noticeable step change in IQ and performance going to (say) a D7000 series body..

Last edited on Sun Jun 16th, 2019 13:36 by Eric



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Posted by chrisbet: Sun Jun 16th, 2019 14:53 57th Post
I am happy that I have the hang of the lens now and I am sure you are right about the body.

I am keeping an eye out for an affordable upgrade to a more modern body, 7500 / 610 / 500 if possible - we will have to see when I can afford it!



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Posted by chrisbet: Mon Sep 30th, 2019 18:28 58th Post
Well - having heeded the excellent advice on here and swapping the D90 for  D610  here are a few taken by a friend with my camera of Zara and I pursuing our other hobby :smilesmall:

I have been using the 610 with the 70/300 on manual with f8 or f11 with a speed of 1/400 and leaving auto iso on while keeping an eye on it.














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If it is broken it was probably me ....


Posted by jk: Mon Sep 30th, 2019 21:13 59th Post
chrisbet wrote:
I am happy that I have the hang of the lens now and I am sure you are right about the body.

I am keeping an eye out for an affordable upgrade to a more modern body, 7500 / 610 / 500 if possible - we will have to see when I can afford it!
I think that the D7500 or D500 are worthwhile upgrades but not by much in terms of IQ but the AF will be faster.  I still find my D600 to be very useable, the AF is slightly slower than the D500, D800, D850 and Z7 but not by a huge factor.



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Posted by chrisbet: Mon Sep 30th, 2019 22:04 60th Post
I find the AF is more than fast enough for my purposes and using one point means I can be accurate with the focal point in the frame. More importantly I could afford the 610 - the 7500 / 500 are still out of my range - horses are an expensive hobby!



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Posted by Robert: Tue Oct 1st, 2019 03:56 61st Post
I am becoming confused here, I thought you had bought a D610?

The only time I see any advantage from using a DX body, is to increase reach, ie. birding or anything needing more pulling power.  Especially if you are saving JPEG images in the camera.  Saving as NEF's provides the opportunity to 'rescue' less than optimal exposure settings and still get superb final images. NEF's contain a basic JPEG, so viewing should not be an issue, processing might be? I don't know what software you have, I use Lightroom for all storage and processing, the artificial intelligence 'auto' provides a very good basic image which you can easily refine to get the final image you want but that's another skill.

The main benefits of an FX, full frame camera are a far better viewfinder, much easier, more relaxed technique and more options for cropping.  I find FX is a far more relaxed experience all round, the moment I pick up a DX camera I feel constrained.

Unless you are going to use either a monopod or tripod, your hand held images are going to be worse with a DX than an FX or require very good technique, which is difficult to learn, especially when photography is an adjunct to your lovely horses (and rightly so!).

I would venture a D3 or D700 (same sensor, smaller body) would be very good for what you need, but more pixels from a D610 would give more options for cropping. D700's are not expensive and might even give you better images than the D610 because of the larger pixels being more forgiving.  For sport, like rugby or cars where there is significant movement in the subject, I always reach for the D3, even though I have the D800 in my bag.  The players won't stand still and pose, any more than one of your horsed will, even if you have excellent technique you still have to allow for the moving subject which limits your options for settings and make the technique even more demanding.



____________________
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Posted by chrisbet: Tue Oct 1st, 2019 08:34 62nd Post
I think it is JK confusing you by answering the question before last :lol:

Yes I have a D610 now and these images were taken with it and the 70 - 300 lens. A heavy combination but manageable as I don't go far with it. I have a battery grip on it and it nestles nicely on my fingers when I am just carrying it.

I couldn't agree more with you, the FX is much easier to use, more accurate on the focusing and much faster on burst shooting which I use a LOT while panning with the horse.

Having taken on board your comments elsewhere about DOF / aperture / exposure / ISO I have found a happy mixture that gives enough DOF while minimising movement blur of swishing tails - horses' tails move way faster than anything else!

These images were taken by a friend - I just set the camera up and told her to keep the focus point on my leg ...



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Posted by jk: Tue Oct 1st, 2019 09:30 63rd Post
I agree Chris.
I was answering your interim question regarding choice of camera.  
Robert is confused because your purchase has been made, and I am commenting on your pre-purchase options.

I personally think that FX has so many advantages over DX, except when you do wildlife and sports action photography.  DX is significantly better for wildlife and sports.  I am not saying that it is impossible to do sports or wildlife with FX cameras but there is a considerable weight and cost penalty for doing this!  I know as I have a Nikon 400mm f2.8 AFS that I seldom use as it is very heavy but it is superb as a 400mm or with a teleconverter x1.4, x1.7 or at a push x2.


I think this is where Eric is having issues with cameras.  He does many different genres but prefers to do landscape and wildlife but also wants a smaller, lighter camera.  A smaller lighter combo is a Nikon P900/P1000 or similar.  But then the smaller sensor is not so good for landscapes.  It is always about compromises.



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Posted by Robert: Wed Oct 2nd, 2019 07:45 64th Post
Thanks for the clarification!  I did check back in this thread before I replied.

Chris, you mention swishing tails, my instinct would be to try to let them swish, visibly.  I feel it helps make the image real, more lifelike.  It brings action to the picture, in my opinion.

I believe it falls in the category of blurred bicycle spokes and airplane and helicopter propeller disks, even some birds tails wagging.  It brings a little movement to the image, rather than still life.  OK, if you want a catalogue image, go for sharp all over but for real life, I believe a little movement blur adds to, rather than detracting from the picture.

How much is debatable and how far you take it is part of the conundrum but I do believe there is such a thing as too sharp an image.  The human eye detects blur, why not the camera?

Once things settle down in my life, I hope to have more time to experiment with lenses and bokeh, get a greater understanding of what needs to be sharp.  To focus on the subject, but not over do it.  This is why I have concentrated on fast, non-zoom FX lenses for my collection, as fast as I can afford that is! LOL  The human eye, in combination with the brain 'focuses' on the object of interest, a camera on the other hand, focuses on everything which is stationary and in the focal plane and freezes that moment.



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Posted by chrisbet: Wed Oct 2nd, 2019 11:40 65th Post
Even at 1/400 there is detectable movement blur at the end of the tail.

You also get flying particles of sand - maybe a bit slower could help "lose" these.

The human eye is working in 3D - the photograph is only 2D, there are bound to be differences.

If you are looking at a moving object then it always appears sharp since you eye follows the movement unless it is moving as fast as a propeller blade - I agree that seeing these stationary is a bit unnerving!



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Posted by Eric: Wed Oct 2nd, 2019 21:17 66th Post
chrisbet wrote:
Even at 1/400 there is detectable movement blur at the end of the tail.

You also get flying particles of sand - maybe a bit slower could help "lose" these.

The human eye is working in 3D - the photograph is only 2D, there are bound to be differences.

If you are looking at a moving object then it always appears sharp since you eye follows the movement unless it is moving as fast as a propeller blade - I agree that seeing these stationary is a bit unnerving!
I have to say there is a significant quality improvement with this recent set of images Chris. Well done. You must be pleased when you look back at the first horse photos you posted, and see the improvement.



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Posted by chrisbet: Wed Oct 2nd, 2019 21:40 67th Post
Thank you Eric - I am pleased with the improvement, the advice I got here was spot on :smilesmall:

Maybe not the best exposure but lovely sense of movement in the horse and stillness in the rider (me!) - exactly what we aim for as riders...

I have tried bringing up the shadows but I can't seem to do it without blowing the highlights.... need more instruction on post processing!



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Posted by Robert: Wed Oct 2nd, 2019 22:01 68th Post
I agree Chris, the picture is nice, contrasty lighting like that is difficult, you can't bracket, so any shadow recovery has to be in the processing.

Fortunately shadow recovery is much easier than highlight recovery in fact blown highlights are rarely never recoverable.

What software are you using?  My experience is limited to Adobe Lightroom and Ps but I know JK and Eric use other software, which may be lower cost.

For best results in dealing with extremes of exposure in one image you are better to save as NEF, it gives you your best options and greatest flexibility when trying to recover highlights and shadows.  JPEG's have already been processed in the camera and any further processing by you will be likely to lead to artefacts and noise, especially when you are trying to recover highlights and shadows.

A small flash would help but likely spook the horse, I guess.



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Robert.



Posted by chrisbet: Wed Oct 2nd, 2019 22:36 69th Post
Flash is a big no-no :lol: - I use Darktable, the linux equivalent of Lightroom.



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Posted by Robert: Thu Oct 3rd, 2019 03:27 70th Post
I thought as much, that's why I like cars and motorbikes, they don't jump around when you point the camera at them, well only a bit...

D200, Sigma 10-20 wide zoom at Mallory park.  The white balance is wrong... way too blue.



OK, well in Lightroom, on the right hand side in edit image mode is a list of adjustments.  They are intended to be worked through in order downwards.  Not every adjustment has to be altered, some I almost never touch, others I have a 'standard' setting which seems to suit the majority of my work.  I just work down the list and make adjustments which gradually improve the image to my eye.  Starting with cropping and ending with sharpening.

A couple of upgrades ago they introduced 'Auto adjustment' which adjusts the main exposure related adjustments pretty well, subduing highlights revealing detail, and enhances the shadow areas again evening the exposure and bringing the shadow areas up without overdoing it.  This is only a suggestion and I usually reduce the brightness from the auto setting.  The auto adjustment is said to utilise auto intelligence? Machine learning, I have noticed it does seem to learn from my re-adjustments that I don't like over bright images and I am finding I don't have to correct it to my taste as often as I used to when it was first introduced, perhaps it's learning from me, or from all the other users too, perhaps I am not alone in not liking over bright images???

The auto adjustment does not address the micro contrast settings like clarity, texture, de-haze or vibrance; I usually apply about 25% clarity and a little texture depending on the image, de-haze I usually limit to 2 or 3%.  Very rarely any vibrance, more often than not reducing it slightly.

Reducing the contrast a little can sometimes help.  The difficulty in describing this process is that every image is different, I fail to understand how people can run a batch process on anything other than identical pictures like star-scapes or identical portraits, like school photographs which have identical lighting etc.  Not only that but everyone has their own idea of how they want their photograph to look, their 'style' if you like.

There are also some very useful filters like the NIK filters, which used to be free, were gobbled up by Google, then spat out again and are currently available again in a slightly enhanced form for what I believe is a reasonably modest fee. These filters don't make any 'magic' adjustments, they simply make adjustments using the available parameters which any user can make but they do it in a very simple way, which saves the user having to learn advanced techniques to achieve their goal.

One particular NIK filter I do use sometimes is 'Detail Extractor' which is a powerful tool to ...extract detail! LOL  It's very effective, especially in slightly shadowy areas and things like stone walls suddenly stand out and come to life. NIK filters have a very powerful selection tool which means you can apply the filter to exactly to part of the image you want to adjust.  You can increase or reduce the effect of the filter by clicking in an area and adjusting sliders which increase or reduce the area the filter affects very effectively. It can, for example adjust hair tone without adjusting the background or visa versa.  That is probably NIK filters most powerful aspect, individual selective points.

BUT, much of this can be avoided with a good, well lit, NEF exposure out of the camera.  Always check the histogram, take trial exposures until you hit the sweet spot.  Eventually you will be able to 'read' the histogram and recognise a nice exposure at a glance.  The histogram is probably the biggest single benefit of digital photography besides the free film!



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Robert.



Posted by Robert: Thu Oct 3rd, 2019 07:42 71st Post
I forgot to mention, setting the white and black points are perhaps the most important adjustment, this can transform a nice but lacklustre image into a masterpiece (well almost!) :lol:

Your 'Sea of Mist' Tuscany landscape (which I can't find?) might fall into that category, I keep meaning to try processing it to improve the depth and clarity of the misty scene, which I feel has all the elements but they need developing.  I am slightly put off because I will be processing an already processed JPEG and I doubt if I could get the best results from it.  If you have an NEF of that scene I would love to have a go and see what I could do, I feel it has the potential to be a cracking good picture.



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Robert.



Posted by Eric: Thu Oct 3rd, 2019 08:29 72nd Post



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Eric


Posted by Eric: Thu Oct 3rd, 2019 08:33 73rd Post
This is using selective Shadow adjustment in Affinity....but same method is there in Adobe and others products.

Its better adjusting a raw file original.


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Eric


Posted by chrisbet: Thu Oct 3rd, 2019 17:03 74th Post
The misty photo is in the landscapes topic :smilesmall: but here it is again ...


.



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Posted by Robert: Thu Oct 3rd, 2019 19:39 75th Post
chrisbet wrote:
The misty photo is in the landscapes topic :smilesmall: but here it is again ...


Ah, that explains it, I searched here in the Tuscany thread.  Nice evocative picture, but to my eyes a little lack lustre, not enough contrast in the unobscured parts, I suspect the black and white points are out...  Will have a look later.



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Robert.



Posted by chrisbet: Thu Oct 3rd, 2019 20:02 76th Post
Here's another ....

.



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Posted by Robert: Thu Oct 3rd, 2019 21:09 77th Post
Thanks Chris, is that a crane on the 'island'?



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Robert.



Posted by chrisbet: Thu Oct 3rd, 2019 22:48 78th Post
A building crane, yes - a crane bird, no :lol:



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Posted by Robert: Fri Oct 4th, 2019 07:06 79th Post
:lol:

It has to go!

I have a small problem, When I upgraded my MacPro to Mojave, I didn't realise (because I only use it occasionally) but my Wacom tablet no longer works.  I have updated the drivers and done what it says on the Wacom website to deal with the issue but the tablet does not seem to communicate with the screen pointer.  In test mode it is reporting the co-ordinates, pen pressure and the button presses but they don't seem to be being recognised, or acted upon.

I need to contact Wacom I guess.  I am actually considering reverting the MacPro to High Sierra (if I can), given Mojave is the end of the road for the MacPro upgrades.  I felt High Sierra was 'good enough' for my needs.  I don't like the increased features of Mojave, I certainly don't need them on a workhorse machine.



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Robert.



Posted by jk: Fri Oct 4th, 2019 07:56 80th Post
Robert wrote:
:lol:

It has to go!

I have a small problem, When I upgraded my MacPro to Mojave, I didn't realise (because I only use it occasionally) but my Wacom tablet no longer works.  I have updated the drivers and done what it says on the Wacom website to deal with the issue but the tablet does not seem to communicate with the screen pointer.  In test mode it is reporting the co-ordinates, pen pressure and the button presses but they don't seem to be being recognised, or acted upon.

I need to contact Wacom I guess.  I am actually considering reverting the MacPro to High Sierra (if I can), given Mojave is the end of the road for the MacPro upgrades.  I felt High Sierra was 'good enough' for my needs.  I don't like the increased features of Mojave, I certainly don't need them on a workhorse machine.
That is a real warning about not upgrading to the latest.
I have one laptop on Mojave but all the rest of my equipment is on prior versions e.g. High Sierra or El Capitan.

The next version of MacOS Catalina will make the whole OS 64bit, which means that many of the old versions of softwares will cease to work.  I will be buying a new MacMini to test software on (when funds permit) but having the latest version of the OS is not one of my priorities.  I still think Snow Leopard was one of the best versions of OSX/MacOS.



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Posted by chrisbet: Fri Oct 4th, 2019 08:27 81st Post
Lol - that crane is as much part of the landscape as the church tower next to it - it has been there since at least 2012 when I first visited! They don't build fast in Italy .... :lol:



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Posted by jk: Fri Oct 4th, 2019 09:09 82nd Post
Even slower in Spain (sometimes).
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sagrada_Fam%C3%ADlia
:lol:



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Posted by chrisbet: Mon Nov 4th, 2019 09:06 83rd Post



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Posted by jk: Mon Nov 4th, 2019 12:07 84th Post
Well that image is certainly sharp and in focus in the right places.  
See the hairs around the horse's mouth.  Pin sharp.



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Posted by Graham Whistler: Tue Nov 5th, 2019 10:37 85th Post
Chris nice capture but I had a look at it in Photoshop CC and worked with levels and shadow detail a bit also noise reduction. Has this helped?
.



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Posted by Eric: Tue Nov 5th, 2019 12:05 86th Post
jk wrote:
Well that image is certainly sharp and in focus in the right places.  
See the hairs around the horse's mouth.  Pin sharp.
Yes but for some reason the exp comp has been set at -0.7?  ...and that’s underexposed the mid tones.

Light subject against light background I would have gone + exp comp.

Last edited on Tue Nov 5th, 2019 12:07 by Eric



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Posted by Graham Whistler: Tue Nov 5th, 2019 13:13 87th Post
You are right Eric on my corrected pix I put in nearly x1.5 stops exra exposure as well as lowering contrast and a bit of local exposure on the rider's face. Noise was also very high.



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Posted by jk: Tue Nov 5th, 2019 15:14 88th Post
Eric wrote:
Yes but for some reason the exp comp has been set at -0.7?  ...and that’s underexposed the mid tones.

Light subject against light background I would have gone + exp comp.
I agree.
I tend to set my EV in UK to 0.0 or in summer -0.3.  However in Spain I use -0.7EV routinely.    I guess Chris does the same in Italy.



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Posted by chrisbet: Tue Nov 5th, 2019 15:33 89th Post
Absolutely JK - the D610 tends to overexpose in Italy so I set -0.7 - what I hadn't taken into account was the rather grey day!

The noise probably a result of me using haze reduction to bring up some detail in the background - this is the original ex camera hosted on my website  --



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Posted by Eric: Tue Nov 5th, 2019 22:02 90th Post
Having seen the full size image I personally think the crop is too harsh....which exacerbates the perception of under exposure.

Here’s my suggestion. I’ve cloned out the cables ...if that was the reason for the tight crop.

Without selective masking increasing the mid to high tones for more background detail will also apply the same contrast to the horse...which may cause  some of the markings to be over done.


.

Last edited on Tue Nov 5th, 2019 22:16 by Eric



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Posted by chrisbet: Tue Nov 5th, 2019 22:24 91st Post
Thanks Eric - that is better - indeed those cables are a pain!



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Posted by Graham Whistler: Wed Nov 6th, 2019 09:33 92nd Post
Eric you are slipping up cables still in the trees!



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Posted by Eric: Wed Nov 6th, 2019 19:47 93rd Post
Graham Whistler wrote:
Eric you are slipping up cables still in the trees! :sssshh:  I thought I could get away with it.



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Eric


Posted by chrisbet: Wed Nov 6th, 2019 20:21 94th Post
You would only see them if you knew they were there 😊



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Posted by Eric: Wed Nov 6th, 2019 20:53 95th Post
chrisbet wrote:
You would only see them if you knew they were there 😊 Graham is a hard taskmaster.;-)



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Posted by jk: Thu Nov 7th, 2019 08:25 96th Post
Eric wrote:
Graham is a hard taskmaster.;-) You dont get to be leader of Digital photography in RPS for nothing!
:bowing:



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Posted by chrisbet: Thu Nov 7th, 2019 14:56 97th Post
Sorting through a few of my tuscan photos, I'd appreciate comments on a couple, technical / artistic :



and




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Posted by Robert: Thu Nov 7th, 2019 19:01 98th Post
I like #2 not that I DISLIKE #3 but it's more challenging to edit, for me at least...  No doubt the maestro will come up with an amazing edit...

A minute or so in Photoshop, cropped, set levels (auto) and removed some distractions.  I tried to retain the tall conifers in the background.  Could probably extract more but it's a nice pic with the misty distance.

.



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Robert.



Posted by Eric: Thu Nov 7th, 2019 19:46 99th Post
I will wade in with the last image.

Gardening and exposure.

The composition is very good. The problem is the accoutrements that intrude ...not only masking detail but distracting from the graphic composition.

I accept that it’s not always possible to remove stuff when shooting on the fly. But if you are intentionally setting up that image you need to garden the surroundings beforehand. That applies whether it’s blades of grass across a fungus or garden seats in front of the subject. 

Some of the intruding detail can be cloned out (albeit some with difficult) but you can’t re create the ladies legs!

Whenever I was photographing machinery on locations in scruffy workshops I paid particular attention to anything in front of the subject. The background and surroundings can always be modified ....but a dustbin or cable obscuring a complex machine contour could be a disaster to correct.

Lose these encircled areas and you’ve got a strong graphic image.  Oh and trust the camera on 0 exp comp. You had it -0.7. I’ve pulled the horse back by + 0.3 and it’s still a tad under exposed.


.



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Eric


Posted by Eric: Thu Nov 7th, 2019 20:18 100th Post

Last edited on Thu Nov 7th, 2019 20:22 by Eric



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Eric


Posted by Eric: Thu Nov 7th, 2019 20:31 101st Post
Robert wrote:
I like #2 not that I DISLIKE #3 but it's more challenging to edit, for me at least...  No doubt the maestro will come up with an amazing edit...

A minute or so in Photoshop, cropped, set levels (auto) and removed some distractions.  I tried to retain the tall conifers in the background.  Could probably extract more but it's a nice pic with the misty distance.

I think Graham is busy packing for his trip to Africa.

I feel that over cropping the image weakens the graphic look. I appreciate it’s the tempting thing to do when there is distraction at the edges. But I think cloning out the right hand seat and retaining the space to show both trunks makes the graphic effect stronger. If I were doing this properly I wouldn’t clone the branches but cut and past lumps of branches on a layer. You can then erase to blend better and you don’t get the the stamp repetitions that are too easy to get from cloning sticks. I was just being lazy. :lol:.

Last edited on Thu Nov 7th, 2019 20:34 by Eric



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Posted by Graham Whistler: Thu Nov 7th, 2019 22:18 102nd Post
Eric's coments are as always good. I love the creative use of back light and the misty background is good. Bit more time and a look at detail is needed but see it later and the moment has passed. Eric and I have had to make our living pleasing clients who want perfection in every photo for their advertisng material. Chris you are taking pictures for fun and are doing well, enjoy your photography.



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Posted by chrisbet: Thu Nov 7th, 2019 22:45 103rd Post
The photo was taken without the human subject being aware I was taking it - the horse however has clocked me - see his eye!

It was one of a burst and either the person or the horse was clear of distractions - definitely impossible to have moved the seats !!

Maybe a cut & shut from the other photos can restore the legs and produce a composite image. Way outside my editing skills!

Had she been closer to the horse - as I had expected her to be - then the problem may not have existed.



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Posted by Eric: Fri Nov 8th, 2019 15:34 104th Post
Ah just what was missing.....a lovely pair of legs!


.



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Eric


Posted by Robert: Fri Nov 8th, 2019 15:53 105th Post
Well done Eric! :bowing::bowing::bowing:

Not just the legs but foliage too.



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Robert.



Posted by Eric: Fri Nov 8th, 2019 16:04 106th Post
Robert wrote:
Well done Eric! :bowing::bowing::bowing:

Not just the legs but foliage too.
Don’t look too closely...it’s not that good at all. 

But it wasn’t meant to be an exercise in editing. I just wanted to make the point about looking ‘around’ the subject being an important part of the initial composition and a bit of tidying (if possible) can make a difference....or be prepared to do some editing later.

Last edited on Fri Nov 8th, 2019 16:04 by Eric



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Eric


Posted by chrisbet: Fri Nov 8th, 2019 16:08 107th Post
Well done, I am sure Cristina would appreciate the compliment!



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Posted by Eric: Fri Nov 8th, 2019 16:33 108th Post
Graham Whistler wrote:
Eric's coments are as always good. I love the creative use of back light and the misty background is good. Bit more time and a look at detail is needed but see it later and the moment has passed. Eric and I have had to make our living pleasing clients who want perfection in every photo for their advertisng material. Chris you are taking pictures for fun and are doing well, enjoy your photography. And of course for press work we weren’t allowed to edit images ....so looking for unwanted detail becomes second nature. 

I remember covering an opening ceremony at a Best Western hotel extension with the local MP cutting a ribbon. I was there on behalf of the hotel (who were my clients) but the press guys were there in force...well 6 of them 😂 

Anyway halfway through his speech I noticed the honourable Henry Bellingham MP had his jacket pocket flap half in and half out or the pocket slit. As Sod’s law would have it he wouldn’t address the crowd to the right and hide that imperfection ...he kept looking at the photographers....typical MP.

Anyway I grafted his left pocket over the offending right one...even got the pin strip aligned. 

My image was sent to the local rag by the marketing manager for the hotel....and that’s when the bun fight started.

Must admit I found it amusing being accused of fabricating images of an MP by some newspaper plonker. Ironically I know Henry reasonable well having had several dealings with him over the years. Were he not speaking at the time I would have pointed out his dress code was wanting....but you never interrupt an MP in full flow.



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Eric


Posted by Graham Whistler: Fri Nov 8th, 2019 22:34 109th Post
Well done Eric I like it!



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Graham Whistler


Posted by jk: Sat Nov 9th, 2019 08:43 110th Post
chrisbet wrote:
The photo was taken without the human subject being aware I was taking it - the horse however has clocked me - see his eye!

It was one of a burst and either the person or the horse was clear of distractions - definitely impossible to have moved the seats !!

Maybe a cut & shut from the other photos can restore the legs and produce a composite image. Way outside my editing skills!

Had she been closer to the horse - as I had expected her to be - then the problem may not have existed.

I prefer this photo as an image.  The two trees frame well.  I would just lighten the horse a little in Photoshop.



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Posted by Eric: Sat Nov 9th, 2019 13:37 111th Post
jk wrote:
I prefer this photo as an image.  The two trees frame well.  I would just lighten the horse a little in Photoshop. I suppose we could combine them. :thumbs:


.



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Posted by jk: Sat Nov 9th, 2019 16:03 112th Post
Very fine edit Eric.
:bowing:



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Posted by chrisbet: Sun Sep 27th, 2020 18:18 113th Post
Well, having just made it back from an exciting week in Tuscany here is just the first of many images I took - it caught my eye on a quick flick through as it has a great sensation of power and movement.

Click here to comment on this image.



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Posted by Robert: Sun Sep 27th, 2020 21:13 114th Post
Yes, lots of action, only one foot on the ground?

Higher shutter speeds help when there is lots of movement, that said you don't want to eliminate all movement blur.

I remember many years ago there was a discussion here about spoke blur and shutter speed for racing bikes, you don't want too much blur or the spokes will disappear, which makes the bike looks silly with no spokes...  Same applies to airplanes with propellors. Do you go for a disk or frozen prop, most like a reasonably blurred propellor.

I think this would be an activity I would use shutter priority, most of my photography is aperture priority, because I usually want to control depth of focus



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Posted by chrisbet: Sun Sep 27th, 2020 22:13 115th Post
Yes, only one foot on the ground - canter is a three beat action with a period of suspension in between so at one point there are no feet on the ground!



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Posted by Eric: Mon Sep 28th, 2020 08:11 116th Post
chrisbet wrote:
Yes, only one foot on the ground - canter is a three beat action with a period of suspension in between so at one point there are no feet on the ground! Showing my equestrian ignorance ....do horses ‘canter’ naturally? I wondered if they have been conditioned to do while being ridden or whether they adopt that style of motion in the wild....or even running riderless about the paddock?

We had two horses in the field where I was photographing kites and they seemed to either walk or gallop around chasing each other. There didn’t seem to be any in between.

Last edited on Mon Sep 28th, 2020 08:14 by Eric



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Posted by chrisbet: Mon Sep 28th, 2020 16:04 117th Post
Horses naturally have 4 gaits - walk which a 4 beat, trot which is 2 beat with diagonal pairs of legs, canter which is a mixture of trot with one pair of legs and individual strides with the other pair so 3 beat and gallop which is 4 beat.

In the picture Scully is on her hind off and about to land the fore off and hind near in the trot stride, followed by the pause and then the near fore.

Then you have horses that tolt, a trot stride but using pairs of legs on the same side (very wobbly!) and horses that canter disunited (front legs out of sync with the rears).

All these are natural gaits. Walk, trot and canter have three sub divisions - collected, working and extended - these have different stride lengths.

Then you have trained gaits  like spanish walk and the american trotters, plus dressage moves like tempi changes, flying changes (both canter based) and things like piaffe, passage and pirouette - all exaggerated display movements.

Lol - you did ask someone passionate about horses :lol:



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Posted by jk: Mon Sep 28th, 2020 18:18 118th Post
Lost me there at an easy canter!
 :lol:
Best rein me in before I become unseated.



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Posted by chrisbet: Mon Sep 28th, 2020 18:23 119th Post
Lol - you still have more nouse than some I meet sitting on a horse!



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Posted by Eric: Mon Sep 28th, 2020 23:09 120th Post
chrisbet wrote:
Lol - you still have more nouse than some I meet sitting on a horse!

Click here to comment on this image.



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Posted by chrisbet: Tue Sep 29th, 2020 07:36 121st Post
You would probably win!

Tess & Clodia would have to be armed with poo scoops though :lol:



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Posted by Eric: Tue Sep 29th, 2020 10:03 122nd Post
You’ve started something now!

Coincidentally, Jan has been sorting through photos from a visit to the Haras du Pin we made a couple of years back. It included a pageant with the many horses on parade. 

Every single one of them has only one foot on the ground....apart from a couple that are completely airborne. The things you don’t notice.



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Eric

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