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      08-23-2011, 03:22 PM   #54
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Drives: M3
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Dallas

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Originally Posted by thorny View Post
Thank you sir!

If you are interested, here is my recipe. A nice Digital SLR camera, I shoot with Canon 5D, then even more important is lens, you gotta have at least one high quality zoom lens, I prefer Canon L optics. They are expensive, but a nice camera and cheap optics is a waste of money, so if someone goes as far as buying a high quality camera, a nice lens is a must. Other than that - to shoot landscape you'd need a sturdy tripod; I use Gitzo, and a cable remote to prevent vibrations. To shoot portrait I use flash a lot.

Once you get all this, there is nothing to blame Just get out and shoot, try different angles, different time of day, inclement weather, etc. Avoid shooting in harsh sun. But no matter what you shoot watch your histogram, ideally it has to be shifted to the right without anything being blown out or severely underexposed. If you end up throwing away 15 exposures and keeping 1 - you're doing great. To get quality there is no other way than to shoot RAW, forget about jpeg. Your camera must be always set to shoot RAW unless you’re shooting a drinking party.

After that it is all about post-processing. There are a few masters of Photoshop on this forum, but Photoshop can be rather intimidating, and it is time consuming even for pros. I use it, but none of the pictures featured in this thread were processed in Photoshop, other that batch processing of resolution to fit the requirements of this forum. I process my RAW images in Lightroom 2. There is 3, but i haven't got to upgrading it just yet. This tool will take your images to a whole new level. Yes, I recommend reading a book on it, but it is a fraction of difficulty of mastering Photoshop. It has a lot of features, but all you really need to know is the Develop module. Its “General-Auto Tone” preset makes wonders, and you can google a bunch of other people’s presets and play around with them all day. Just don’t over-do it, it is easy to get carried away with all the controls.

That’s about it. It does take some dedication, not everyone is willing to carry around a backpack with photo gear and tripod and then sit and process the raw material.

Good luck!

PS I'll try to upload some high resolution images to some 3rd party web site and post a link right here.

Thank you very much for the advice! I am new to SLR cameras and such as I just purchased my first SLR in July. It is nothing fancy (Sony A33 I believe) but it is definitely enough to fuel my growing interest in photography. I also purchased a zoom lens.

I will give what you said a try. I have been playing around with the zoom lens lately and have actually captured (in my novice opinion) some great photographs. I am sure Photoshop and Lightroom can help enhance.

Thanks again and awesome photos! I look forward to the high resolution images, I bet they are even more stunning.