Beginner Am I still a beginner, hell yeah and a long way to go :)

Messages
52
Edit My Images
Yes
#1
Thought I'd do a quick follow, you never know it might be of interest to other newbies:)

I posted these threads a while back

https://www.talkphotography.co.uk/threads/camera-for-a-newbie.677297/
https://www.talkphotography.co.uk/threads/zoom-lens-to-use-with-a-sony-a6000.681140/

where I was looking for advice on what camera and lens to buy, went and got a Sony A6000 with the stock lens and also got the 55-210mm tele lens.

I first used the camera and lens at my youngest sons graduation and things didn't really go as smooth as I would have wanted, more on this later :)

In July the wife and I went to Kenya and booked a 3 day safari in the Masai Mara, stayed in a wonderful tented accommodation and overall had a wonderful time. My wife was originally born in Mombasa and hadn't been back for some 35 years so to her the safaris was 3 days of interruption from seeing and meeting her friends :) She wasn't really interested at all in going on safari and tried to convince me that it was a waste of time but after booking luxury accommodation and a private land cruiser she loved it and is now a convert, we are looking to hopefully book another next year to maybe the Serengeti.

Onto the camera and my experience, I'm not a photographer by any means, last "good" camera I used was a Minolta AF7000 using 35mm film, anybody remember them? One word of advice I would offer is to use the camera as much as you can so that you can get used to it, it's controls and settings. Something which I didn't do and tried it to use it at my sons graduation and missed the important handshake photo :( but luckily there were 2 so I got a good pic of the other :)

On safari again I never really played around with the camera which I really should have to both check settings and get used to the zoom and other controls. I ended up taking the bulk of pictures with centred focus and only changed to spot on the very last day which caused continuous problems in focusing on the actual subject, I also discovered that for some reason the camera was left to save in JPEG format and not RAW+JPEG which is what I thought it was set. Last point of note is that the 55-210mm just isn't enough to get good close up pictures, could really have done with a 300mm lens to be honest. I also suffered from zoom lens envy as every other person had "proper" zoom lens but I think these are people who must dedicate a lot of their time just to going on safari.

I took loads of pics and here are some that think are good? Not having spot focus set has resulted in the pics being soft but hopefully when we go to our next, equipped with a better tele lens I'll get better pictures :)

Not too sure how to upload so I've shared an album using Google Photos, these are untouched, the lion eating in the bush was one that I just couldn't get the camera to focus which is when I discovered the wonders of centre spot focus :)

https://photos.google.com/share/AF1...?key=d1pHZl94Q01aU0tkNXFlRlJLU1oySDZjTDlaMFVR
 
OP
OP
IAmATeaf
Messages
52
Edit My Images
Yes
#3
Thanks, appreciate the offer and would be very interested to see what can be done to improve the pictures. I've not dabbled in the black art of editing pictures ever so might actually learn something.

Aren't the pictures in the shared album not stored at full size? If not then how can I get them to you?
 
OP
OP
IAmATeaf
Messages
52
Edit My Images
Yes
#5
OK, drop me an IM and I'll email them across.

I have to be honest thought they were full size but then again I did upload the pictures to my phone first and then synced them to Google. I've just checked on my NAS and the originals are all around 8Mb in size
 
Messages
4,830
Edit My Images
Yes
#6
Here is a quick edit on one which improves it a bit:

DSC00426-1000-1.jpg


I'll do the rest over the next few days then let you have them.

This is a small image but the others will be full size.
 
Last edited:
OP
OP
IAmATeaf
Messages
52
Edit My Images
Yes
#9
Thanks, I never until seeing the processed pictures of the lions ever noticed the mottled effect on their skin. Just looking at the unedited pictures and it is there but to me for some reason I just never noticed it.
 
OP
OP
IAmATeaf
Messages
52
Edit My Images
Yes
#10
I don't like the composition on the lion photos. I do however like the composition with the giraffe photo and how it blends into the background. A B&W edit amplifies this should you be that way inclined.
On the composition side of things, trying to learn here what or how would you have composed the pictures?

In terms of where you are, you really are sort of stuck with where the driver parks and that is to some extent dictated by other vehicles already there. For the lioness drinking and standing I would have liked to get closer but that's all that the 210mm would give me. That lioness standing to attention was taken when it saw a warthog in the distance, so that pictures is just seconds before it goes into hunting mode but unfortunately tracking the warthog took it further away so the pictures I have of it do get smaller and smaller.
 
Last edited:
Messages
435
Name
Lindsay
Edit My Images
Yes
#11
Personally I would crop the second lion one to remove some foreground and some on the right hand side to remove the oof vegetation, so that the lion is more on the right-hand third looking across the waterpool. Just imho though
 
Top