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  1. #1

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    Things I learned from my Sunday at Disneyland

    Many of you know (from another thread) that I went to Disneyland Sunday 10/14/07 to do some more photography practice. I tried to take photos in as many different conditions as I could. Some photos came out good, some not so good.

    Things I learned from my Sunday at Disneyland.

    1. It is possible to get a good photo, even with poor lighting conditions (too dark, too light).
    2. It is easier to get a good photo with too little light rather than too much light.
    3. If you really want the photo, take more than one. Take at least one with “proper exposure” take another with different settings.
    4. Auto bracketing is your friend. For those of you new to the term, Auto Bracketing will take between 3 to 6 images (depending on your camera) of the same subject with one press of the shutter release. My camera takes three. One image is at the “correct exposure” that I set. One image is at one Exposure Value less than the manual setting I chose, one image is at one Exposure Value greater than the manual setting I chose. Sometimes your “best” setting may not be as good as it could be, but with Auto Bracketing, you get other choices.
    5. When the lighting conditions are poor, too much or too little light on the subject, try to move around to get a more favorable light condition.


    Anyway here are some of the photos I took. I wound up with about 150 images on my memory card. Some were duplicates, many more were the result of Auto Bracketing.

    The 16 here are just a sample of what happened when I took photos, tried to get the best exposure I could and then just published it without any enhancement in Photoshop or anything. Later, after I do some image enhancement, and such I will repost some of these and some new ones. For now, her is the first batch.

    No flash was used in any photos, I wanted to rely strictly on settings, later I will experiment with flash and fill flash and such.

    Remember, you asked for it!

    First image. This shot of The Jungle Cruise was taken fairly early in the day, the lighting was terrible. But I compensated for the darkness and I believe it is pretty good.



    Splash Mountain, again, low light.



    Just experimenting with light and shadow.



    More light and shadow.



    Minnie’s House. Too bright, I need to adjust this image to get the quality I want.



    Goofy’s House. Much, much too much light. I hope I can save this one, it will be a further test of my Photoshop adjustment skills.



    Just to the right of Goofy’s House. What a difference just turning a little can make. The light is much more manageable in this image.



    The Observertron. I forget the conditions, but the photo cam out fairly good anyway.



    Moon Rocket. Too much light in back of the Rocket. I’ll see what I can do by moving a little.



    Ah, much better. I just moved about 20 or 30 feet and the light was much better. The Rocket is now illuminated properly, or at least pretty good.



    Mickey Jack’o Lantern. As I remember the light was dim here, but I believe the photo came out pretty good.



    Bad, bad, bad! This image is the result of the sun being right behind the subject (the Golden Gate Bridge in DCA). I’ll also try to recover something here in Photoshop.


    More backlight. I tried to get off to one side but it was still not what I would like. I will have to adjust this one also.



    Hollywood Tower Hotel. Too much light behind it. But not too bad. Maybe if I just adjust the sky it will look better.



    I think this one is great! Good light, good color, good conditions.



    Much better color in this view of the Oglden Gate Bridge, but I can’t see the decorations that are there for Halloweentime on the other side.




    Well, I hope you enjoyed these photos and explanation. Maybe it will help somebody to get some better photos.

    I’ll try to get more done soon.

    CU@DL

    Andy
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  2. #2

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    Re: Things I learned from my Sunday at Disneyland

    Thanks for the tips. I am camera challenged and need all the help I can get!

  3. #3

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    Re: Things I learned from my Sunday at Disneyland

    Wonderful shots, and a nice lesson in exposure! You're right - auto bracketing can help some photos turn out great - and also makes for a nice HDR if you're so inclined...

  4. #4

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    Re: Things I learned from my Sunday at Disneyland

    Quote Originally Posted by Frogberto View Post
    Wonderful shots, and a nice lesson in exposure! You're right - auto bracketing can help some photos turn out great - and also makes for a nice HDR if you're so inclined...
    HDR was the original reason I started Auto Bracketing. I plan to do some HDRi's from some of the photos I took Sunday.

    I have some HDRi's from WDW that I need to publish so folks can see them. Got the pages compsed, just need to get the creative juices going for the text. Pictures are often the easiest for me, sometimes the text description is hardest.

    Thanks to you for the original thread on HDRi.

    CU@DL

    Andy
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  5. #5

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    Re: Things I learned from my Sunday at Disneyland

    I think the terms you're using are just slightly...off. I know what you're trying to say, but it could be said a little better, if you don't mind me saying so.

    2. It is easier to get a good photo with too little light rather than too much light.
    I think what you're trying to say is that it's better to get a photo that's too dark than one that's too bright--and that's true. That actually means that it's easier to get a good photo if there's too much light in the environment; you can just use a faster shutter speed and/or smaller aperture to purposely underexpose the photo slightly. Regarding the "too little light" scenario--you actually haven't posted any photos of such an environment. For that sort of problem, try shooting without flash in the dark rides. You'll quickly realize that it's quite difficult. A combo of steady hands, perfect shutter speed, wide aperture, and extensive postprocessing is necessary.

    The problems you're talking about are not issues with the amount of light present, but in the amount of contrast present. It's easy to take a photo of a sunny, blue sky or of a shaded garden. But taking a photo with both in them is nearly impossible unless you use HDR and/or shoot in RAW format. The camera has a limited dynamic range, which means it can capture lights and darks and everything in between, but not all at the same time. It can only handle so much contrast.

    Luckily, we have Photoshop. It's not a crime to postprocess--in fact, before the days of digital photography, postprocessing was seen as an artistic norm, not a way of cheating. There's nothing wrong with using software to make the photo live up to its full potential. That includes color correction and cropping.

    Check this out.



    Good luck, and have fun. Remember--light is good. It's contrast that will really kill you.


  6. #6

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    Re: Things I learned from my Sunday at Disneyland

    Datameister, thanks for your input.

    I don't see anything wrong with post processing using PhotoShop. I do it all the time. I am just trying to improve my camera skills so that I get the best image possible before I post process.

    I'm by no means an expert, but when I learn something, I like to share it. That is what I did here.

    As for RAW... Most of the photography I do doesn't need RAW. RAW consumes just too many resources for what I need. It takes up much space on memory cards, and on my camera, it takes about twice (or more) as long to store a RAW image as a high quality JPEG.

    I'm still learning photography, and PhotoShop and other graphic tools, and I appreciate help where ever I can get it.

    Thanks,

    CU@DL

    Andy
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    What is, is... What is not, is not.

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    I don't ask for much... Just a few little things!

    Extra effort yields extraordinary results!

  7. #7

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    Re: Things I learned from my Sunday at Disneyland

    I'm by no means an expert, but when I learn something, I like to share it. That si what I did here.
    That's exactly why I like threads like these.

    As for RAW... Most of the photography doesn't need RAW. RAW consumes just too many resources for what I need. It takes up much space on memory cards, and on my camera, it takes about twice (or more) as long to store a RAW image as a high quality JPEG.
    The space/resources issue is indeed a very big one. I totally understand where you're coming from. The inescapably glorious thing about RAW, though, is that it offers a significantly wider dynamic range. That means that you can avoid blown-out white skies much more easily. That was one of your biggest concerns with the above photos, so I would venture to say that while RAW can really be a drag in terms of speed and memory card space, some photography really does "need" RAW. In addition, RAW offers far better control over color correction in general, as I was reminded while color-correcting your JPEGs.

    And keep in mind that you don't have to do all one or the other--you can switch to RAW for particularly artistic or high-contrast shots, and then use JPEG for everything else. Also, memory cards are getting cheaper and cheaper, so you may consider investing in a 2GB card to supplement whatever you already have. Shooting in JPEG format saves you time and space, but it also throws out a sizable portion of the data you're working so hard to commit to the memory card. I'm not talking about compression so much as I'm talking about all the settings that are imposed on the sensor data, permanently eradicating valuable stuff that could have been used to make the photo more beautiful.

    Anyway, keep up the nice work. Please don't misinterpret my critique as me thinking you're stupid or anything like that.


  8. #8

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    Re: Things I learned from my Sunday at Disneyland

    Impressive CU! Thanks for posting!

  9. #9

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    Re: Things I learned from my Sunday at Disneyland

    Your pictures look good thanks.

  10. #10

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    Re: Things I learned from my Sunday at Disneyland

    ohhh great pics, the ones with light... ;o)

    Thanks for the helpful tips, heading to WDW and will use the sun the best way I can.
    Micoofy Duck
    Disney Theme Park Fan #4,584,376
    http://www.micoofy.com



  11. #11

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    Re: Things I learned from my Sunday at Disneyland

    Wonderful pictures!!! I myself have accepted the fact that I will never be able to take "photographs" I will always just be a "snapshot" taking kind of person. I love seeing the wonderful shots that others get! Thanks for sharing!




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  12. #12

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    Re: Things I learned from my Sunday at Disneyland

    Wow...

    sort of makes me wish I had developed some cool talent to show off instead of playing video games.
    St. Elizabeth, Patron Saint of Themed parks. Protect us from break downs, long lines, and used gum. Amen.

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  13. #13

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    Re: Things I learned from my Sunday at Disneyland

    Quote Originally Posted by Datameister View Post
    That's exactly why I like threads like these.


    That was one of your biggest concerns with the above photos, so I would venture to say that while RAW can really be a drag in terms of speed and memory card space, some photography really does "need" RAW.

    And keep in mind that you don't have to do all one or the other--you can switch to RAW for particularly artistic or high-contrast shots, and then use JPEG for everything else. Also, memory cards are getting cheaper and cheaper, so you may consider investing in a 2GB card to supplement whatever you already have. Shooting in JPEG format saves you time and space, but it also throws out a sizable portion of the data you're working so hard to commit to the memory card. I'm not talking about compression so much as I'm talking about all the settings that are imposed on the sensor data, permanently eradicating valuable stuff that could have been used to make the photo more beautiful.

    Anyway, keep up the nice work. Please don't misinterpret my critique as me thinking you're stupid or anything like that.
    Thanks, I do apprecisate the comments. I do use a 2GB card, in fact, I try to remember to carry a spare (for some reason I don't always do that, I need better habits).

    I do consider using RAW, sometimes, but in the time it takes to switch (3 levels deep on my camera) I could lose a shot that I would like to have, so I need to learn how to get good JPEGs as well. RAW is great, and I do plan to pracitce using RAW, I don't want to use RAW all the time because of speed and memory requirements, but for some situations, there just isn't time to switch. That was not true for any of the photos I took Sunday, but my practice is on "easy" subjects, so that when the difficult (fleeting) subjects happen the settings and positioning and angle are second nature. If I had a camrea (like a Canon Rebel) I would probably shoot RAW all the time, but I don't, I have a consumer camera (FujiFilm s6000fd) so I just need to make do and learn to perfect my skills as best I can and learn to shoot the best I can and so that the choices are second nature.

    Again, your comments are appreciated. We all learn form each other, each of us has a differnet skill-set and different things to offer.

    Thanks again,

    CU@DL

    Andy
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    What is, is... What is not, is not.

    Boom!

    I don't ask for much... Just a few little things!

    Extra effort yields extraordinary results!

  14. #14

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    Re: Things I learned from my Sunday at Disneyland

    Quote Originally Posted by penguinsoda View Post
    Wonderful pictures!!! I myself have accepted the fact that I will never be able to take "photographs" I will always just be a "snapshot" taking kind of person. I love seeing the wonderful shots that others get! Thanks for sharing!
    I used to be a "snapshot person", and I probably still am more of a "snapshot person", with "delusionss of talent", but I just make it a point to practice and try to learn. I beieve all it takes is the desire, and time. I am convinced that many people can take photographs instead of snapshots. I'm not there yet, but I want to be.

    Quote Originally Posted by thejoshualee View Post
    Wow...

    sort of makes me wish I had developed some cool talent to show off instead of playing video games.
    Never too late

    Also, thanks to all for your kind comments and critiques. We all learn (in my case) our art form from all feedback. It is just nice to have so many people willing to just look at and make any comment.

    I'll try to have part 2 later this week or early next week (unless I go to DL Sunday).

    Thanks ever so much,

    CU@DL

    Andy
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    What is, is... What is not, is not.

    Boom!

    I don't ask for much... Just a few little things!

    Extra effort yields extraordinary results!

  15. #15

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    Re: Things I learned from my Sunday at Disneyland

    I do consider using RAW, sometimes, but in the time it takes to switch (3 levels deep on my camera) I could lose a shot that I would like to have, so I need to learn how to get good JPEGs as well. RAW is great, and I do plan to pracitce using RAW, I don't want to use RAW all the time because of speed and memory requirements, but for some situations, there just isn't time to switch. That was not true for any of the photos I took Sunday, but my practice is on "easy" subjects, so that when the difficult (fleeting) subjects happen the settings and positioning and angle are second nature. If I had a camrea (like a Canon Rebel) I would probably shoot RAW all the time, but I don't, I have a consumer camera (FujiFilm s6000fd) so I just need to make do and learn to perfect my skills as best I can and learn to shoot the best I can and so that the choices are second nature.

    Again, your comments are appreciated. We all learn form each other, each of us has a differnet skill-set and different things to offer.
    I understand where you're coming from. Thanks for the cool shots!


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