Weekly Jaimie-Lee's Challenge 52

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JaimieLee
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#1
Hi everyone!
I have been following this website for a while now as I was planning to buy myself a camera and had no idea where to begin. Santa was really good to me this year and delivered a Nikon D3000 to me :) I am totally at a loss as to how to use it, so thought I'd try out this weekly challenge mostly so I can learn the basic functions of my new toy.
The main reason I wanted this camera is that I like to travel, so my camera will be used for photographing places and things I see along the way. For this reason, my main aim is to get a decent photograph without having to use photoshop or anything, and this is what I hope to learn by taking part in this challenge. I am happy to do a little editing on all photos, but will be aiming to keep it to a minimum. If anyone is able to help me out in achieving this, I'd appreciate it greatly :D

So, here goes!
As I was saying, I like to travel a lot. Its all I ever think about! So when I saw the theme for week 1 was 'direction', it felt very fitting! :p So I got out my collection of travel guides from the places I have visited over the years. These books helped me no end on my backpacking trips, guiding me in the right (and occasionally wrong) direction through these countries.

[/url] DSC_0050 by jbarnes19, on Flickr[/IMG]

So, any advice? This is my very first try, be gentle :LOL:
 
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JaimieLee
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#6
Thanks everyone for your comments and feedback on last weeks photo! Joe, I'll take that feedback into account in future and will try not to forget about the background of my pictures!

Week 2 - Fear

Well, this theme was a head-scratcher! My baby brother always had a major fear of dogs when he was young, until he met this guy. Laddy is a family friends dog, who seemed to cure my brother of his fear. So I decided to photograph him, and he posed and smiled away for the camera.

[/url] DSC_0032 by jbarnes19, on Flickr[/IMG]

I used the macro setting on my camera (I don't have a macro lens yet, just thought I'd try it out for the sake of learning). I'm unsure if that was the best option? Or if I even used it correctly. What settings would you have used for this photo?
 
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Michael
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#7
HI Jamie, a great pose from your dog! Those eyes are menacing! Settings wise they seem to be ok, which were 1/125 sec @f4. I will be totally honest and say I have never used the pre programmed functions, I take it this was the kit lens? So you couldn't go much wider in the aperture. The dof really does work well as the dog is nicely focused and sharp, only thing I would suggest is a bit of a crop to take out the distractions from the back ground
 
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Roly
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#8
Hi Jaimie and welcome to TP :)

Direction - Like the idea and you got the exposure bang on. I think if you put the books on a shelf and looked down the spines a little more it may make the image more interesting as I agree with Joe's comments about the background.

Fear - Again nice lighting and a sharp image. Good work to get down to the dogs eye level as well, still not quite got there with the backgrounds.

Good work though and hope your enjoying the new camera, look forward to seeing more photos soon :)
 
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Lynne
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#10
Hi JaimieLee


great start to your project & only just a teeny weeny bit green-eyed over your travels...:cool:

Direction....good link to them theme...background's been mentioned but nice layout & focus sharp throughout (y)

Fear....LOVE that shot....eye's pin sharpe...love his expression & nice low angle to shoot from :clap: Do you have the original ? Would maybe suggest more of a crop to the righthandside & leave more room to the left...he seems to sort of be looking that way ? Brilliant shot anyhow..:clap:

ps....don't forget to update the spreadsheet...makes it far simpler to track who's done what....link in 1st post where the themes are added each week...just stick an x in the box next to your name under the relevant theme..........I've updated wk's 1 & 2 for you :)
 
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Peter
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#11
Direction - I can see the link here. I might have been tempted to break up the line of books by having one on it' side and/or open.

Fear - That dog can be split in two :LOL: If you cover the eyes you get a doggy smile. If you cover the mouth you get those evil looking eyes which fits the Fear theme.
 
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Andy
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#12
Hi, JaimieLee, I can see what you were after with both. For #1, maybe with the spine facing you and you looking over the books, smiling :thinking:

#2, lovely dog and nice narrative. Bit central, busy BG. Eye contact would improve.

Cheers.
 
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Kris
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#13
Nice picture of the dog (y)
The first thing that came to my mind when i saw it was how much them eyes reminded me of the wolf out of the film The Neverending story, which used to scare me when i was younger!
Good luck for next week ;)
 
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JaimieLee
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#14
Thank you everyone for your comments. Sorry it has taken so long to reply, I'm not very good at keeping up with the site.

HI Jamie, a great pose from your dog! Those eyes are menacing! Settings wise they seem to be ok, which were 1/125 sec @f4. I will be totally honest and say I have never used the pre programmed functions, I take it this was the kit lens? So you couldn't go much wider in the aperture. The dof really does work well as the dog is nicely focused and sharp, only thing I would suggest is a bit of a crop to take out the distractions from the back ground
Hey Michael. Yeah, I used the kit lens, I feel it worked out all right considering! I have cropped the image as you suggested and it definitely looks much better, I'll post it up soon. Thanks for the advice!

Hi Jaimie and welcome to TP :)

Direction - Like the idea and you got the exposure bang on. I think if you put the books on a shelf and looked down the spines a little more it may make the image more interesting as I agree with Joe's comments about the background.

Fear - Again nice lighting and a sharp image. Good work to get down to the dogs eye level as well, still not quite got there with the backgrounds.

Good work though and hope your enjoying the new camera, look forward to seeing more photos soon :)
Thank you for the comments! I reckon I'll re-shoot the direction theme when the chance comes up and will take your advice on the different angle, thanks again for that

Hi Jamie, I agree with Michael about your photo, I love the dogs eyes!

I think a tighter crop would work well but you have done well to hide the background!
Thanks Sarah, I'm quite pleased with the photo now with the tighter crop. I'll post it up soon.

Hi JaimieLee


great start to your project & only just a teeny weeny bit green-eyed over your travels...:cool:

Direction....good link to them theme...background's been mentioned but nice layout & focus sharp throughout (y)

Fear....LOVE that shot....eye's pin sharpe...love his expression & nice low angle to shoot from :clap: Do you have the original ? Would maybe suggest more of a crop to the righthandside & leave more room to the left...he seems to sort of be looking that way ? Brilliant shot anyhow..:clap:

ps....don't forget to update the spreadsheet...makes it far simpler to track who's done what....link in 1st post where the themes are added each week...just stick an x in the box next to your name under the relevant theme..........I've updated wk's 1 & 2 for you :)
Hiya Blondie! Thank you so much for doing the spreadsheet for me, that was very kind! I didn't even realise the spreadsheet existed but I'll be sure to keep on top of it now, and thank you for the comments and advice!

Direction - I can see the link here. I might have been tempted to break up the line of books by having one on it' side and/or open.

Fear - That dog can be split in two :LOL: If you cover the eyes you get a doggy smile. If you cover the mouth you get those evil looking eyes which fits the Fear theme.
Haha :LOL: Its funny, I had never noticed him having evil looking eyes before as he is such a friendly big thing, but they definitely look scary here! Thank you for taking time to comment.

Hi, JaimieLee, I can see what you were after with both. For #1, maybe with the spine facing you and you looking over the books, smiling :thinking:

#2, lovely dog and nice narrative. Bit central, busy BG. Eye contact would improve.

Cheers.
Yeah, I was aiming for eye contact but he wasn't playing ball! He was too busy trying to see around the camera to find me :LOL: Thanks for the feedback!

Nice picture of the dog (y)
The first thing that came to my mind when i saw it was how much them eyes reminded me of the wolf out of the film The Neverending story, which used to scare me when i was younger!
Good luck for next week
Haha :LOL: thanks Kris, I'm glad it reminded you of something scary, hopefully means I was on target with the theme!
 
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JaimieLee
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#15
Sigh indeed! :LOL:

Well, taking on all comments and critique from the last two weeks, I have been working on trying to perfect the backgrounds of my photographs, and once again I know I have failed here :help:

I was thinking along the lines of feeling groggy and tired on a cold Monday morning, getting a cup of coffee and the big sighhhh that comes after that first sip!

So, as I said in the beginning I am using this challenge to learn the basic functions of my camera, and as I was trying to focus on the background, I thought I'd try and learn how to do the whole blurred out background thing. All I've come out with is a rubbish picture and a headache :LOL:

So, here it is...

[/url] DSC_0096 by jbarnes19, on Flickr[/IMG]

The image in my head certainly didn't look like this but this is as close as I could get. I couldn't get a happy medium between an in focus background, or an extremely blurred background :banghead:

If anyone can help me out on how to do improve this, I'll try again before the next theme comes out :thinking:
 

jgs001

Brian Cox
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John
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#16
Direction : A great idea, and it shows direction well... a little thing I tried a couple of years ago... it helps remove the surroundings... if you put the books into a curve... you can take a shot of them, remove all the surroundings and still have it show the theme nicely. I may be able to dig it out if you'd like to see what I mean.

Fear : I can understand a fear of dogs... but in this case, he looks very friendly ;)... what a great pose.

Sigh : It works, and I think it fits the theme well. I think you've got the background blur probably just about right to be honest. You can make out what the objects are, but they don't detract from the cup and spoon, which are good and sharp. I can't decide it perhaps a lower or higher view might have improved it ...


A couple of things to bear in mind... the Depth of Field is controlled by the aperture, the focal length and the distance between the subject and the lens (not necessarily in that order ;)). So the close you get at longer focal lengths and the same aperture, the more blurred items in the background will be.
 
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Name
JaimieLee
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#17
jgs001 said:
Direction : A great idea, and it shows direction well... a little thing I tried a couple of years ago... it helps remove the surroundings... if you put the books into a curve... you can take a shot of them, remove all the surroundings and still have it show the theme nicely. I may be able to dig it out if you'd like to see what I mean.

Fear : I can understand a fear of dogs... but in this case, he looks very friendly ;)... what a great pose.

Sigh : It works, and I think it fits the theme well. I think you've got the background blur probably just about right to be honest. You can make out what the objects are, but they don't detract from the cup and spoon, which are good and sharp. I can't decide it perhaps a lower or higher view might have improved it ...

A couple of things to bear in mind... the Depth of Field is controlled by the aperture, the focal length and the distance between the subject and the lens (not necessarily in that order ;)). So the close you get at longer focal lengths and the same aperture, the more blurred items in the background will be.
Hiya! Thanks for taking the time to leave me some helpful feedback :) sounds like a great idea for my direction shot, I'll give it a try!

Okay so about a week ago I'd have had no idea what all those words you just said meant :LOL: but I recently downloaded an iPhone app called "dslr for dummies" and I'm understanding a lot more. I have only the standard kit lens, and a 300mm manual focus lens. So, to dumb it down a bit for a newbie :LOL:, I went for the bigger lens and zoomed in a bit more? Was this the right option? Looking at my shot today I feel happier than I did yesterday, I think I was getting frustrated :LOL:

I can't believe how much this challenge has taught me already! Thanks to all for the help :)
 
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2,847
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Mark
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#20
I like that, and think you've got the background blur about right. what camera do you have?

It is bang on theme, but I wonder if adding a feeling of warmth, perhaps by having hands wrapped around the mug, or being able to see some steam rising from it, would have helped?
 
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