Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 29
  1. #1
    Spinning like a gerbel spingineer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Silicon Valley
    My Bikes
    Seven
    Posts
    7,947
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Digital Picture Quality

    When I look at all these ride reports, it is just great to see all the scenic shots that everyone produces here. Some of them all better ... a lot better than what I can get out of my camera. I started to think about this ... and perhaps it's the photographer? I'm the first one to admit the artistic side is almost non-existent. My composition sucks, and I know that. But for some reason, all my pictures seem drab and dull, while when I look at others, all the colors, foreground and background seem to jump out of the screen.

    So what do you all think? Is it the camera? Is it the setting? Or is it the photographer? I'm betting on the latter.

    Also, just curious, what camera is everyone using? The crappy photos I upload are from my Olympus Stylus 760. I'm contemplating getting a digital SLR, so that I can take some photos while on the Tour of California, but considering my ineptitude with digital photos, I'm re-thinking that.
    I'm in it to finish it.

    My Cycling Blog

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Moraga, CA
    My Bikes
    2008 Cervelo RS, 2011 Scott CR1 Elite, 2014 Volagi Liscio
    Posts
    1,700
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I use a Canon Powershot SD550 for my cycling photos and a Nikon D50 SLR for my vacation photos. The first thing that I would suggest is forget about the no. of pixels. Modern day digital cameras have more than enough pixels. The caveat is assuming that you won't be printing them out on 24" by 32" paper or trying to crop to get a small section of a pic. I think that the camera industry has figured out that no. of pixels is a metric that people can relate to.

    My Nikon takes sharper pictures than my Canon simply because it's got a bigger and sharper lens and that's the primary benefit you get with an SLR. By the way, you can now get 18-200 zoom lenses for SLRs nowadays. I wish I had one.

    The camera that you're using now should be more than adequate and I don't quite understand why your pics are washed out. Even in direct sunlight, it should be OK. Perhaps you've got the settings set up wrong and you're letting too much light in. Reset it back to the default position.

    Maybe you're just comparing your pics to Taxi's. His are great because he does seem to have an eye for it.

    Cliff

  3. #3
    Dolce far niente bigbossman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Northern CA
    Posts
    10,790
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I have an 2 year old Olympus Stylus 600, which is lower on the food chain than yours. That's good if you think my pictures are worse than yours, and bad if you think they're better.

    Seriously - (as with most any other endeavor) a good photographer can take interesting photos with baseline equipment, but advanced technology seldom benefits those that don't know the fundamentals of what they are trying to do.

    Most point and shoot cameras will take care of the basic technical settings for you, so you might grab a tutorial book or two on composition and lighting. You need to understand these parameters as the camera translates them, and everything will fall into place - with any camera that tickles your fancy.
    "Love is not the dying moan of a distant violin, it’s the triumphant twang of a bedspring."

    S. J. Perelman

  4. #4
    phony collective progress x136's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    San Hoosey
    My Bikes
    http://velospace.org/user/36663
    Posts
    2,983
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Keep in mind that a lot of the pictures you see aren't hot off the camera. There's some (or in some cases, a lot of) tweaking going on. And as RoboCheme mentioned, camera settings play a large part, as well.

    Just like how any TdF contender could leave you in the dust on even the cheapest Wal-Mart toy-bike, Ansel Adams could blow you away with pictures taken with a disposable camera. Hardware only gets you so far.

    Which isn't to say that you shouldn't consider an SLR. There's a lot you can do with SLRs, and they're a lot of fun.

  5. #5
    Erect member since 1953 cccorlew's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Antioch, CA (SF Bay Area)
    My Bikes
    Roubaix Expert, Motobecane Fantom Outlaw turned commuter, Cannondale F500 Mtn bike, Some old French thing gone fixie
    Posts
    6,575
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    As a guy who was a professional photographer for 20+ years and now a professor teaching photography, the real answer is, of course, a little of both.

    A good photographer can make good photos with almost anything. However, they can't make good photos of everything with almost anything. Photographers know the limits of their tools, and how to use them to squeak out the most.

    Nice cameras can help anyone just a bit. They sure don't hurt. But what is a nice camera? I find I'm using my Point and Shoot a lot more, and I'm amazed at how good it is for most applications.

    At no charge, I know offer my distilled wisdom of a lifetime of photography. If you do these things your photos will be better than 90% of customer photos that come out of the Costco photo lab.

    Everything I know about photography™
    • Get closer. Then get closer.
    • Know what you’re making a photo of and why you’re making it.
    • Don’t jiggle or shake. Use these cheap tricks to avoid blur.
      • Use a fast enough shutter speed 1/lens focal length is a good place to start.
      • Brace on something. I use my bag a lot. Use whatever you can find.
      • S q u e e z e the release, don’t punch it.

    • Be extra careful with long (tele) lenses and close up photos. They accentuate your jiggling.
    • Check the size of the subject you’re shooting by putting the main object in the corner of the frame.
    • Look around the edges of the viewfinder. Really. Do it.
    • Think “Flat.” The world is 3D, photos are 2D.
    • Remember, the camera can shoot verticals if you turn it.
    • Sometimes eye level isn’t the best point of view.
    • Shoot lots now. Edit later
    • The best photos are made when you should be at home in bed.
    • Play is good. Have fun.

    WANTED: Not a darn thing. I've got it all. Life is good.
    Website at curtis.corlew.com —— Bicycle blog at ccorlew.blogspot.com

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    10,416
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    1. In sunny conditions (my favorite bicycling weather), almost any camera can take excellent web-quality photos. High-end cameras will give you better low-light or big-print images, but for bike ride photos, a pocket camera is usually fine. Even the camera's full-auto point-and-shoot mode is usually fine on a sunny day.

    2. How you hold the camera makes a big difference. A lot of people hold the camera with their finger tips and an out-stretched arm and then wonder why their images are blurry.

    3. Composition matters a lot if you want an eye-catching photo. Whole books have been written about this. If you are illiterate, at least look at a lot of other people's photos to try to figure out what kinds of compositions you like. A picture can be worth 1000 words, but only if your composition is interesting enough. And remember that composition is equal parts moving the camera (high, low, closer, farther) and framing the scene.

  7. #7
    It's MY mountain DiabloScott's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Mt.Diablo
    Posts
    5,671
    Mentioned
    10 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    A new SLR won't fix your photography problems, it'll make a good photographer even better though.

    The wrong settings can really ruin a good shot - check them and learn how to use them.

    Here's my composition tip: framing. *



    *I don't claim to be anybody worth taking advice from.
    http://diabloscott.blogspot.com/

  8. #8
    Don we now our Bacana's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    San Francisco - USA
    My Bikes
    Felt F1X & Giant TCR Composite 1
    Posts
    146
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I take some shots with my cell phone camera while riding. If I posted any, I imagine I'd post only the ones I thought were good. I bet a lot of other people do the same.
    < ? 180 ---*----- 200 --------- 210 --------- 220 --------- < ... (no comment)

  9. #9
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    San Francisco
    My Bikes
    07 Jamis Quest, old hardtail Trek mtb (beater)
    Posts
    18
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Personally, I use a nikon D70 dslr for most of my photos, or borrow my fiancée's casio exilim ex-s600 when I want to travel light. Both can produce spectacular results.

    For me, I learned a lot about photography through reading. If you have the time, I recommend reading several of Ken Rockwell's articles on the subject, such as:

    How to Make Greate Photographs
    Your Camera doesn't matter
    Critical Camera Adjustments
    Photograph is not a Spectator Sport
    How to get Great Colors

    Just about everything on his site is really useful, from camera recommendations to photo gallerys. I highly recommend it!

    Another great online resource are the Digital Grin forums. This site focuses more on the photography side of things, and less on the camera side, the way too many internet sites do. A lot of friendly pro photographers hang out there. A particularly useful forum is the Whipping Post, where you can post a picture that you think is pretty good, and readers will post constructive criticism, suggestions for post-processing, etc. I like just looking at all the photos that people post, in 'Shots' forums.

    Don't leave out post-processing as a way to make your photos 'pop!' Almost every photo you see from a professional has been subtly enhanced in photoshop or similar editing programs. You can even just add a little contrast, saturation, and sharpening in Picasa for some pretty impressive results.

    Straight from the (casio) camera:


    After some quick tweaks in Picasa (+saturation, auto contrast, +sharpness):

  10. #10
    Wheres my snuggie? taxi777's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    San Francisco
    Posts
    3,068
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Always drop your camera and kick it around a bit to break it in!

    Seriously, frame frame frame! Look at the picture and notice what is useless info and what is important then crop the Sh** out it! You're telling a story...say something! I take 40 picts on a ride and only a half dozen make the cut. Take three shots of the same subject. A little saturation and change the color tint sometimes you'll be suprised at what you'll find
    My main trick though is..................CROP...CROP...CROP
    !!!!!!!!!!!!!............................

  11. #11
    Spinning like a gerbel spingineer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Silicon Valley
    My Bikes
    Seven
    Posts
    7,947
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Thanks for all the suggestions (ones that I pretty much already know). Maybe I'll just accept my dull drab photos, and just stare in awe at everyone else's rich and vibrant photos.
    I'm in it to finish it.

    My Cycling Blog

  12. #12
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    upper devonian
    Posts
    896
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Rule #1- it's all about the light.
    Study the photos that work and figure out time of day and light direction relative to camera.
    Rule #2- if you break rule #1, your photos will stink.

    simple really

  13. #13
    Wheres my snuggie? taxi777's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    San Francisco
    Posts
    3,068
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Ron I think your picts are far from drab, you have a lot of winners believe me! Keep shooting I like your picts!

  14. #14
    "Ride Lots!" PrincessZippy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Contra Costa County
    My Bikes
    many
    Posts
    324
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Good photography takes time. Thom took this with my little Fuji FinePx. A nice little camera but with no bells and whistles. He knew what he was looking for and he kept shooting until he got it - probably 6 or 7 shots total, with him looking at the picture between each to see if he had the effect he wanted. He uses Lightroom to crop (sometimes cropping is key!), adjust exposure and a bunch of other stuff.



    I wish he had shown me the pics, 'cause I would have taken off the geeky glasses.

    I took this probably with the same camera. I don't fuss much with the settings. I do think about framing and what I want the picture to convey. The thing I'd change in this photo is the sky. It's just too washed out. I also wish the horse that had been on the right hand side of the road, had been on the left.



    We almost never take group photos, unless it's commemorating some really interesting event. The everyone standing around shot... just isn't that interesting to us.

    Veronica

  15. #15
    Spinning like a gerbel spingineer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Silicon Valley
    My Bikes
    Seven
    Posts
    7,947
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Hey, what's everyone doing posting? I just posted because I'm bored ... have to be indoors at my PC, since I'm on-call.

    I wasn't expecting such a reaction from this posting. Anyhow, I do know about lighting, composition, etc ... but just because you know what to do, doesn't mean you can do what you need to do to get what you need to get. lol Do you get it? I need to get back to work again ...
    I'm in it to finish it.

    My Cycling Blog

  16. #16
    "Ride Lots!" PrincessZippy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Contra Costa County
    My Bikes
    many
    Posts
    324
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Something I forgot... if you're thinking about a new camera to take on the bike, think about how you're going to carry it.

    Thom use to have a Canon 1 D. It was great camera. But it was big and bulky and then you add the lenses to it...

    After it got stolen, he eventually replaced it with a 40D. It's a little smaller, but if he brings it on a ride, he needs to have a good size bag for it to go in and he has to choose what lens. He doesn't usually bring that camera, unless we're touring.

    Sometimes he'll bring a Panasonic DMC-FZ50. It's got a nice zoom lens 35 - 420. But that also requires a pretty good size bike bag.

    I love my Panasonic DMC-LX2. It has a wider aspect ratio to it, that suits the sort of shots I typically take. But it doesn't fit in a jersey pocket, so I tend to take it only when I'm touring and it goes in the handlebar bag.

    The little Fuji F20 fits great in my jersey pocket and is there if I get the urge to take photos. So it is almost always with me. I don't take many photos, but it's there if I want it.

    Yeah - we're a 5 camera family now. We also have a Fuji S6000.

    Veronica

  17. #17
    It's MY mountain DiabloScott's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Mt.Diablo
    Posts
    5,671
    Mentioned
    10 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    BTW, just put together a slideshow of my best Diablo photos:

    http://picasaweb.google.com/DiabloSc...eat=directlink



    http://diabloscott.blogspot.com/

  18. #18
    Carbon compliance tester
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Santa Clara, CA
    Posts
    581
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Good lighting + good composition or cropping.

    I haven't had a pocket camera for years, but I have a Nikon D50 that I use regularly for snapshot type photos. I don't pretend to know what I'm doing but I'm just so happy with the pictures I get out of my D50 versus what I got with my ancient 2mp Canon S200. I'll need to buy a new pocket camera some day, hopefully something in the 6mp range like my D50 rather than 8+.

    The big sensor and quality optics just make a huge difference with DSLR pictures. I just replaced my broken 18-55 with the same 18-55 kit lens but with Vibration Reduction, it kicks ass. I've also got a 55-200 for those long range shots.

    I can do handheld indoor shots now with the VR lens, but I even like the way DSLR flash photos come out, the flash is so much stronger than on a point and shoot. Plus the narrower depth of field I can get on shots can make them look more "professional" if done right.

    I'm having a lazy weekend.. brunch this AM with a friend meant no sunday riding, and I really wanted to sleep in saturday. Ron, we should throw a ride together for next weekend

  19. #19
    Spinning like a gerbel spingineer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Silicon Valley
    My Bikes
    Seven
    Posts
    7,947
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by reidconti View Post
    Ron, we should throw a ride together for next weekend
    Sorry Reid, I'm going to be in LA next weekend. I think Pete is doing a ride from SF to Tunitas and back, next Sunday.
    I'm in it to finish it.

    My Cycling Blog

  20. #20
    crazy bike girl msincredible's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    CA Central Coast
    My Bikes
    '07 Orbea Onix, '07 Birdy Yellow, '06 Cannondale Bad Boy (stolen)
    Posts
    3,324
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Hey Ron,

    I've always been fond of this picture you took of me.



    Just some other suggestions...try playing around with the camera settings when you are not busy trying to capture action shots.

    And when you are looking at the pictures you admire, try to think about what it is that makes it look good, in addition to enjoying it, you might pick up some ideas.
    Countries I've ridden in: US, Canada, Ireland, UK, Germany, Netherlands, France, China, Singapore, Malaysia
    States I've ridden in: Illinois, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, California, Nevada, Missouri, Colorado

  21. #21
    Don't mince words Red Rider's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Vacaville, CA
    My Bikes
    '08 Orbea Diva "The Avocado"; Specialized Dolce comp "Sweet Thang"; Co-Motion Roadster "Blue Jay", Fuji Team Pro
    Posts
    6,888
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Cgallagh gave me a Sony DSC-W120 for Christmas. I have a lot to learn about it so I just take video and pics and delete the poor ones and keep the good ones. He has an eye (and equipment) for photography; I just point and shoot and hope for the best. The camera is small enough to be very portable. Like PZ, I take it everywhere, even if I don't use it, in case something strikes me as photo-worthy. Mostly I got it because I got tired of reading "pics or it didn't happen."

    When my feet hit the floor in the morning, Satan shudders and says, "Oh, *****, she's awake!"

    Visit my blog.

  22. #22
    Spinning like a gerbel spingineer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Silicon Valley
    My Bikes
    Seven
    Posts
    7,947
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by msincredible View Post
    Hey Ron,

    I've always been fond of this picture you took of me.



    Just some other suggestions...try playing around with the camera settings when you are not busy trying to capture action shots.

    And when you are looking at the pictures you admire, try to think about what it is that makes it look good, in addition to enjoying it, you might pick up some ideas.
    Aw, thanks for the kudos, Paula. It's always good to hear positive feedback. Although, I think the subject had a large part to do with that picture.

    Seriously, I've been contemplating a lot lately about picture composition, and I think it will be something I'd like to get into more.

    PS Being on-call makes you contemplate about things ... at least that's what I've observed every time I am on-call.
    I'm in it to finish it.

    My Cycling Blog

  23. #23
    phony collective progress x136's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    San Hoosey
    My Bikes
    http://velospace.org/user/36663
    Posts
    2,983
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Also, keep in mind that with digital, you can employ the "spray 'n' pray" method to great success.

    (Of course, still helps to have the camera well set-up to begin with.)

  24. #24
    Wheres my snuggie? taxi777's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    San Francisco
    Posts
    3,068
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Red Rider View Post
    Cgallagh gave me a Sony DSC-W120 for Christmas. I have a lot to learn about it so I just take video and pics and delete the poor ones and keep the good ones. He has an eye (and equipment) for photography; I just point and shoot and hope for the best. The camera is small enough to be very portable. Like PZ, I take it everywhere, even if I don't use it, in case something strikes me as photo-worthy. Mostly I got it because I got tired of reading "pics or it didn't happen."
    I even have a camera when I take out the trash! That's why it always looks like a pit bull ate it and crapped it out!

  25. #25
    phony collective progress x136's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    San Hoosey
    My Bikes
    http://velospace.org/user/36663
    Posts
    2,983
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by taxi777 View Post
    I even have a camera when I take out the trash! That's why it always looks like a pit bull ate it and crapped it out!
    And it has nothing to do with the fact that you drop-kick the poor thing on a regular basis...

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •