Playing with my new toy.

Blog Forums Photography Playing with my new toy.

This topic contains 4 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by Brett Colvin Brett Colvin Mar 27, 2015 at 9:52 am.

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  • #88707
    Bob Riggins
    Bob Riggins
    Member

    I have been out practicing with my new D5200. Still learning a lot about the camera, but I’m making a little progress. I’m still having problems with depth of field and focus, particularly when dealing with distance and back lighting. Here are some owls (baby and parent) I really wanted to turn out, but didn’t. I’m not sure if it was focus or hand shake (I was not using a tripod at maximum 450 zoom. In any event, I couldn’t get the lighting right. The turtle turned out OK.

    #88712
    Bob Riggins
    Bob Riggins
    Member

    Here are some more that turned out pretty good (at least for me). More of the gopher tortoises and one of an osprey drying out after a swim. All of the birds were taken at close to maximum zoom. The tortoises were taken closer in. All were cropped anywhere from 40% to 50% and reduced in Picassa. I noticed that I lost a lot of clarity in the process. I have Paintshop Pro X5, but don’t know how to use it. I also noticed that when uploading the osprey, the bottom third of the picture was cut off, thus ruining the overall composition.

    #88718
    Brett Colvin
    Brett Colvin
    Member

    Bob – it’s good to see you flexing that new shutter and it looks like you have some nice subject matter to work with.

    On the topic of resizing images for the web:

    It has been a long time since I used any of the Paintshop Pro versions, but here’s a basic sharpening workflow you might want to toy around with:

    1) Open the image
    2) Crop to your desired composition
    3) Resize the image (Image –> Resize on the menu). A good rule of thumb is to use 800 pixels for the width dimension and let the software auto-scale the length. Most blogs and forums seem to have a preference for images 800px wide or smaller, and some tend to cut off at 600px so you can choose what works best for you. This is also a good size for e-mailing and so forth.
    4) Now (AFTER you resize) you will want to play with a feature called the Unsharp Mask. Last time I used PS Pro it was located under Adjust –> Sharpness –> Unsharp Mask. There will probably be 3 fields you can manipulate called Radius, Strength, and Clipping. For web display, try something like Radius: 0.3, Strength: 110%, Clipping: 10.
    5) Save.

    There’s likely going to be a live preview so you can see what changing these settings does to the mask.

    Thanks for sharing.

    #88724
    Bob Riggins
    Bob Riggins
    Member

    Thanks Brett. Being in Florida, there is a lot of subject matter. All of these photos were taken at Honeymoon Island State Park, about 10 minutes from the house. I also got a lot of other osprey shots and some shots of baby bald eagles in the nest with a parent, but these were too far away and didn’t turn out.

    I plan on eventually using Paintshop Pro, which I actually got as an add on to Wordperfect and Quatro Pro I use at work. I am focusing on how to use the camera to take the pictures right now rather than post production and I’m taking everything in JPEG. I’ve used Picasa with my point and shoots for a long time, but with the new camera, it is just not up to snuff. I noticed that the end product comes out sort of flat. For example, in the last tortoise picture, the real interesting part was the gleam in the tortoise’s eye, which all but disappeared in the finished photo. In the owl pictures (other than the bad lighting situation) I think the autofocus was focusing on the front of the nest, so the owls themselves were at the back end of the depth of field.

    Anyway, Brenda just booked the Africa trip for later in the summer, so I’ve got a lot of learning to do.

    #88725
    Brett Colvin
    Brett Colvin
    Member

    Sounds like you’ve got a plan – keep at it.

    The unsharp mask should be pretty easy to learn when you’re ready to experiment and there are some YouTube tutorials on how to use it in Paintshop Pro. It will do a good job of bringing out fine details like feathers and catchlight in your subject’s eye(s).

    Black-Capped Chickadee - Side View

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