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Old 01-06-06, 03:37 PM   #1
invicta
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Photo help

Ive been fooling around with my camera lately and figured that theres at least a few folks here that are more than qualified to give me a few pointers... here's my the last few that I've taken.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/andrewmeade
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Old 01-06-06, 04:06 PM   #2
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Digital?

They're all a little washed out/flat.
You need to expose them a little longer to really get some of the blacks to pop.
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Old 01-06-06, 04:13 PM   #3
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not digital, Praktica MTL3, pentacon 50mm 1.8 touchy through the lense TTL metering.
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Old 01-06-06, 04:13 PM   #4
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Those are film.

I like the composition and the subjects, a good eye. I'd suggest a few things in Photoshop - as noted by HyperRevue, the images are a little washed out and flat. In PS, use Auto Levels or Auto Contrast to get the tones to be richer without much effort.

Otherwise, I'd suggest using the Curves tool and using an "s-bend" which is basically making that diagonal line curve into the shape of an "s" - but not too much, just tweak it until it looks richer or you achieve the tonal quality you're looking for.
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Old 01-06-06, 04:18 PM   #5
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Ok, film.
If using an enlarger, just give them an extra few seconds of exposure.

And yeah, what absntr said.
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Old 01-06-06, 04:32 PM   #6
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duely noted, thanks... id never really retouched my pics in PS before but i justed fooled around with what absntr suggested and it did the trick...as to the enlarger, its too expensive to shoot proper b&w film and take it to a hand processed lab so Ive been using kodak b&w for c-41 processing.
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Old 01-06-06, 04:40 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by invicta
as to the enlarger, its too expensive to shoot proper b&w film and take it to a hand processed lab so Ive been using kodak b&w for c-41 processing.
Yeah, that might have something to do with it.
C-41 b&w never looks as sharp to me.
But yeah, photoshop is your best friend.
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Old 01-06-06, 06:13 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by absntr
I like the composition and the subjects, a good eye. I'd suggest a few things in Photoshop - as noted by HyperRevue, the images are a little washed out and flat. In PS, use Auto Levels or Auto Contrast to get the tones to be richer without much effort.

Otherwise, I'd suggest using the Curves tool and using an "s-bend" which is basically making that diagonal line curve into the shape of an "s" - but not too much, just tweak it until it looks richer or you achieve the tonal quality you're looking for.
Yep, always the quickest solution I find. For film photos, I also notice the some minor Hue and Satuartion adjustments can make a whole lot of difference.
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Old 01-06-06, 06:49 PM   #9
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I have a question that fits here. What's that c41 all about. I shoot mostly digital, but I love film. I just don't have access to an enlarger anymore so basically I just want to shoot black and white and get the pictures developed, and tweak them myself in photoshop. What's the best way to do that? Any certain film or instructions when I get it developed?

PS - I always shoot pictures while riding a fixed gear bicycle.

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Old 01-06-06, 07:03 PM   #10
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C-41 B&W film can be processed in the big machines at your local drug store or 1-hour photo.

I'd shoot C-41 and then get a picture CD back from CVS or Walgreens or whatever you have. Then you can just open them with photoshop and go nuts.
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Old 01-06-06, 07:09 PM   #11
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Well if you were in my neck of the woods I would tell you to stop into my shop and I would help you out. But you are a few hundred miles away so I will just tell you to take it to a mini lab and ask the for develop only with a CD. Also when you drop it off tell them that you want your roll scanned at 10x15 and in tiff format at least. That is if they have a halfway decent scanner. Look for either a Fuji Frontier or a Noritsu printer. The only problem with most mini labs is that they do not do any sort of adjustment to your images which may not be a problem if you can expose a good enough shot. C41 is just color process, it's nothing special only faster.
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Old 01-06-06, 07:13 PM   #12
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Hiya.

- I went to school for photography (wanna buy my diploma?)
- I work as a photographer, photographer's assistant and digital retoucher

Here's a link that I think might do you some good: http://www.magnumphotos.com

Magnum is one of the most highly regarded group of photojournalists in the world. You'll see countless b+w photos there that were taken using available light, just like your shots. The important thing to notice here, completely aside from the subject matter is how good these men and women are at composing their photographs and placing their exposures. Your camera is a stupid machine. You are not. If I were you I'd take an active role in deciding how I want to expose my film and not leave it all to the camera's discression.

Next time you go out for a shoot, find something you want to photograph and then stop. Think about how you want to photograph it - do you want deep pitch black shadows that will create an interesting graphic shape in the photograph, or do you want to see the person standing in the shadows? Do you want the sky blown out to glaring white, or do you want to see the faint vapour trail left by a plane overhead? If you don't consciously decide these things, your camera will decide for you and likely get it wrong. After you've thought about how you want to shoot "whatever" take your photographs, but try bracketing your exposure.

Bracketing (forgive me if this is something you already know):
- take the normal shot (N)
- take the same shot again, but over expose it by a stop (N+1)
- take the same shot again, but under expose it by a stop (N-1)

You might even want to do N+2, or just N-1/2 ... take notes of what you do and review everything later on to see what worked best and why. All this will help you in the future to get the photograph you visualize in your head properly exposed on your film.

Quicky tip: point your camera's spot meter at the darkest shadows you want to have detail in, then open up two stops from what it tells you. That will let you take a shot that has enough information on the film to give you a nice exposure just about every time (unless the highlights are insane, but it's better to over expose than under expose ... you probably know why).

I'll stop rambling now. Keep shooting, everything and everyone around you.

- eyefloater

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Old 01-06-06, 08:12 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by invicta
... kodak b&w for c-41 processing.
I agree with Hyperrevue, I think that has a lot to do with it. Have you tried developing the film yourself? If you are going to scan it, you don't need a darkroom. I like Rodinal or Accufine developer personally, I never went back to D76 again. You will save money this way too.
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