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Hi 

 

Could members of forum please review my portfolio if possible - only four sales since joining and wonder if either my content or tagging (or both) could be flawed? 

 https://www.alamy.com/search/imageresults.aspx?pl=1&plno=311676

 

Can anyone advise? I would be grateful for input.

 

Best Regards,

 

Helen

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Hi Helen,

You've got a lot of images up in a relatively short time, well done!

 

These days I tend to keep a look out in newspapers, magazines, books (e.g. travel books) and online for stock photos. Online newspapers are really good, every article also has a photo associated with it and I often make screenshots and keep them in a folder for inspiration. Basically, it's a good idea to see what actually sells. Under the Alamy "Stock photography discussion and contributor experience" there is always the thread "Images sold in *month*" - it's useful, but invariably travel shots - there are lots of other image types selling, but people are maybe reluctant to put their best sellers up. Photos of people doing things are always good, e.g. someone with some paperwork in front of them typing on a calculator could be the themes of finance, personal finance, debt etc. And pictures of tourists at famous destinations do well.

 

You have a lot of arty type pictures which are very nice, with the main subject in focus and a shallow depth of field. Have you thought about applying this to maybe things like focussing on a person or object in front of a famous landmark, with the landmark in the background still recognisable, but out of focus? Or vice versa.

 

I haven't looked at the keywords from too many images. However, I see, for example, for image 2A5E71P,  you have 48 keywords, which has got your image up to the green "good or optimised discoverability". There are various threads on this topic on the forum which you can look up - the consensus generally is that it's not a good idea to put so many keywords for most images as most of them will not be really relevant and it will hurt your CTR ranking. You also refer to "our winter", but haven't put the location in the 'Caption'. Again, the consensus seems to be that putting the location in the caption is a good idea.

 

You like taking nature shots of plants in closeup - have you considered getting hold of a macro lens? They can really make a huge difference to these type of shots. You also have some bird pictures, but you don't have a long telephoto lens so the main subject normally looks small in these photos. I would like to photograph more wildlife myself, but I don't bother as I also don't have a long enough telephoto and I know that animal images where the main subject is so small are quite unlikely to sell.

 

Finally, are you using an image editor like Lightroom? Some of your images look somewhat underexposed, and some look both under and over exposed. There is also a consensus that brighter images tend to sell better. Not to say that there isn't a place for arty type lighting on some images, but generally not. This can be corrected by adjustments to the image histogram and the blacks and whites. I can give you more information about this if you need it. Here are some examples:

 

Underexposed:

Science & Nature - Close-up of Autumn leaves on a shed roof. Autumn heralds a Cornucopia of Color and phenomenal change before our winter sets in. - Stock Image

 

Close-up of Viola tricolor. Copyspace. - Stock Image

Period Architecture - Blue Stained Glass Panelled entrance door to Cromwell House, Battlesbridge Antiques Centre. Sept 2019. - Stock Image

Several people swimming in a cove off Los Gigantos, Tenerife. September 2019. - Stock Image

 

 

Fireworks and Pyrotechnic explosions thrill visitors during model airshow visitors. UK 2019 - Stock Image


WW7EH4 The sky looks nice, but the ground, people and planes are much darker.
 
Under and overexposed:
Approaching sunset at the beach,Los Cristianos, Spain. September 2019. - Stock Image
Wide-angle view south across bridge to the river at Battlesbridge. A historic village in Essex, Britain. Several gulls are perched on the tidal gates. - Stock Image
 
Caveat!! Please take all this in a positive way. It's a personal opinion on various things which you can take or leave. I hope this helps.
Steve
 
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Hi Steve,

 

Thank you very much for your review and returning with plenty of detailed feedback. it is very much appreciated. I will take your advice on board, particularly useful for quality of content sometimes I play around with exposures, I take on board what you mean though, so I will concentrate on these points.

 

I will also have to revise keywording approach. I wrongly thought that it was essential to mark up to 50 in order to have these images visible, so thank you for your advice. 😲

I already have a macro lens on my wish list, (already have raynox 250 handy little gadget ) and also after a long lens for the nature shots. 

 

Thanks again Steve for your review!

 

 

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16 minutes ago, R De Marigny said:

Hi Steve,

 

Thank you very much for your review and returning with plenty of detailed feedback. it is very much appreciated. I will take your advice on board, particularly useful for quality of content sometimes I play around with exposures, I take on board what you mean though, so I will concentrate on these points.

 

I will also have to revise keywording approach. I wrongly thought that it was essential to mark up to 50 in order to have these images visible, so thank you for your advice. 😲

I already have a macro lens on my wish list, (already have raynox 250 handy little gadget ) and also after a long lens for the nature shots. 

 

Thanks again Steve for your review!

 

 

Hi Helen,

You're welcome! What I was trying to point out earlier, in a very wordy way, was can you see your image being used somewhere, i.e. sold? Does it tell a story or illustrate a concept?

 

We thought you needed to get up to 50 too when that feature was introduced by Alamy, but we quickly decided it just wasn't a good idea. Here's an example thread on keywording - included for the info about the 50 keywords (I'm assuming you're not using a generator):

https://discussion.alamy.com/topic/12040-serious-questions-that-needs-serious-answers/?tab=comments#comment-221247

 

A macro lens is definitely very fun to use, if a bit frustrating - when you get a very narrow depth of field, it can be very difficult to focus on what you want. Even with "non-moving" things like flowers outside, there's always a tiny bit of wind so that they actually do move.

 

What system camera do you use? I'm sure you can ask other contributors their opinion in another thread on any lenses you want to get? Good luck, maybe Father Christmas brings you something ;)

Steve

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Steve's done a sterling job of highlighting what seem to be some very useful areas for your attention. You are not the only one to think that you were meant to have 50 keywords, it comes up a lot here and really Alamy need to change the interface. yes, some images may well benefit from a lot of keywords, and there are always conceptual keywords to think about, but generally that can come later if appropriate.

 

It does seem that some of the pictures are quite seriously under-exposed, I wonder if your camera setting is not quite right, are you using Auto? Bright skies can fool Auto and need compensation but the flower pictures are even tones so you'd expect it to get it right. Are you shooting RAW? RAW does give you more leeway with exposures.

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42 minutes ago, Harry Harrison said:

Steve's done a sterling job of highlighting what seem to be some very useful areas for your attention. You are not the only one to think that you were meant to have 50 keywords, it comes up a lot here and really Alamy need to change the interface. yes, some images may well benefit from a lot of keywords, and there are always conceptual keywords to think about, but generally that can come later if appropriate.

 

It does seem that some of the pictures are quite seriously under-exposed, I wonder if your camera setting is not quite right, are you using Auto? Bright skies can fool Auto and need compensation but the flower pictures are even tones so you'd expect it to get it right. Are you shooting RAW? RAW does give you more leeway with exposures.

 

Yes definitely a lot of images that are way too dark. I would guess that the OP has her monitor too bright because, as you say, even the flower pics and other non-lanscape subjects are too dark. But I would also think that  underexposure is a problem as pics with skies are often very dark on the land. 

 

As always the advice is to properly calibrate the monitor using a hardware device but simply using the raw histogram is a good start, preferably using a good gray card for spot metering and in post can be very helpful for determining brightness and white balance - especially useful for the flower pictures in fact.

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Just looked at some of the captions on the Tenerife shots and there are some misspellings. It is Playa las Americas or Playa de las Americas (not Playas Das Americas), similarly Playa las Vistas (not Playas Das Vistas). The location field is not searchable so always put locations in the captions. These images are on the whole way too dark so underexposed in the first place and then probably processed on a monitor that is too bright. Understanding exposure is fundamental to all types of photography.

Edited by MDM
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Thanks Steve , Harry  & MDM 

 

 I will certainly look at other materials, online magazines for guidance on what is selling as well and check out that thread on tagging. I will amend re- misspellings, MDM thanks.  I currently use a Canons, I have a 5D II, a CANON ZOOM (albeit an old beast) LENS EF 20-35mm f/3.5-4.5 usm,  Canon EF 50 mm 1.8 STM Lens, also have a crop sensor camera with Canon EF-S 55–250mm f/4–5.6 IS lens. I m after something along lines of 400mm prime (ef 400mm f/5.6l usm, for macro Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro IS usm, so currently saving. 

 

I shoot Raw + JPEG, no longer have software subscription to Lightroom ( although I found it useful) there are alternatives I know. I shoot manual. I think my subscription ended after my mass uploads of the Trump visit to UK last year (2018) . Harry -  I had this switched from cloudy /overcast on foggy dull days, sun etc to AWB. Schoolgirl errors. There are a lot which are underexposed which I need to review particularly looking a range of them including WW7EH4  (that was on a bright sunny day at the airshow) I will look at the monitor and pay more attention to the histogram in future, check my exposures, so thank you all for the feedback guys.

 

It does help, as it goes some way to explain why my sales are very low. So far only four sales since joining. 

 

Its helpful to have the opportunity to ask forum members for insights on this. 

 

Helen 

 

 

Edited by R De Marigny
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1 hour ago, R De Marigny said:

I shoot manual.

I use manual exposure as well, out of force of habit rather than any real justification. Occasionally the dial shifts round to Aperture Priority without my noticing and it's generally fine of course! Looking at the histogram should be a great help with your exposures, you'll soon get the hang of taking a quick look and checking whether it's veering to one side of the other. If you do continue to use manual exposure then the camera makes a great exposure meter, just fire off a shot, check the histogram and adjust the exposure accordingly, then just concentrate on the composition. As far as cloudy/overcast etc., I imagine you're referring to the white blance, if you shoot RAW that won't matter, you can change it after the event in your RAW editor, though it will be reflected in the accompanying jpegs (you probably know that anyway but just in case...) 

 

Another technique, particularly relevant if there is a tendency to under-expose, is to "expose to the right", if you have your Canons set to give a highlight warning on the back screen then you can expose until there is just a small amount of flashing, in the sky perhaps, this detail will almost certainly not be clipped in the RAW file, certainly worth experimenting with. If you are a tripod user then you can always combine two different exposures using the HDR Photomerge option in Lightroom etc., you don't have to go for the full blown HDR look, it can be subtle.

 

I use Canon also, the 24-105 f4 L is a very sharp lens and not too pricy secondhand, I don't know about the longer focal lengths though

Edited by Harry Harrison
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1 hour ago, R De Marigny said:

Thanks Steve , Harry  & MDM 

 

 I will certainly look at other materials, online magazines for guidance on what is selling as well and check out that thread on tagging. I will amend re- misspellings, MDM thanks.  I currently use a Canons, I have a 5D II, a CANON ZOOM (albeit an old beast) LENS EF 20-35mm f/3.5-4.5 usm,  Canon EF 50 mm 1.8 STM Lens, also have a crop sensor camera with Canon EF-S 55–250mm f/4–5.6 IS lens. I m after something along lines of 400mm prime (ef 400mm f/5.6l usm, for macro Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro IS usm, so currently saving. 

 

I shoot Raw + JPEG, no longer have software subscription to Lightroom ( although I found it useful) there are alternatives I know. I shoot manual. I think my subscription ended after my mass uploads of the Trump visit to UK last year (2018) . Harry -  I had this switched from cloudy /overcast on foggy dull days, sun etc to AWB. Schoolgirl errors. There are a lot which are underexposed which I need to review particularly looking a range of them including WW7EH4  (that was on a bright sunny day at the airshow) I will look at the monitor and pay more attention to the histogram in future, check my exposures, so thank you all for the feedback guys.

 

It does help, as it goes some way to explain why my sales are very low. So far only four sales since joining. 

 

Its helpful to have the opportunity to ask forum members for insights on this. 

 

Helen 

 

 

 

Good response to the criticism Helen. Some people baulk at this type of critiicism but you are taking it very well and that is really positive. 

 

I would suggest that before you do anything else you really try to understand how to expose your images correctly in camera as that seems to be a major issue in your outdoor work. You are already shooting in manual mode which is a great start but you need to point the camera at a mid tone area (preferably using spot metering) when taking your meter readings. That is why I mentioned a gray card. You will find that works very well for many subjects but the tonal range in landscapes with sky will more than likely be beyond the dynamic range of your sensor. That is where good processing comes in as it is often possible to pull back the sky with a grad filter in Lightroom. Jpegs just don't work here - it is essential to shoot raw. Again a gray card is invaluable for determing correct white balance - the camera setting is irrelevant if you use raw, you just correct it in post. In Lightroom this is a simple matter of taking a reading off a gray card shot taken in the same light as your images and synchronising across the rest of your images. 

 

I would suggest you take out the Adobe subscription again as it is by far the best set of apps overall with Lightroom and Photoshop and by far the best value. £10 a month is nothing for these apps. Shoot only raw and get that monitor darkened. 

 

 

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The replies you’ve had so far have been much too kind! Stock is about making strong visual statements about saleable subjects, in a way that will attract interest even at thumbnail size. You have too many similars (model aircraft show, for example), which suggests you’re not editing tightly enough. Too many pictures are under-exposed and gloomy, with ‘blocked’ shadows (with a pic like TR781P, I had to look twice to if there was anything in the image at all). Others are over-exposed and ‘washed out’. Bird pix (like MT9KC5) have to compete with images shot with long lenses, and a dragonfly occupying 1% of the picture area (PT3CCP) is unlikely to sell. Sky-divers are just dots in the sky. There are too many distant figures on unremarkable beaches (with wonky horizons). Interior shots with white balance way too ‘warm’, ie orange (WNMJFK). A “stunningly beautiful view” (WMGBPK) doesn’t quite live up to the description. Etc.

 

My advice would be to take a deep breath, review your portfolio with a critical eye and compare your pix to the other images you find in sample searches around your subject matter. Spend time on photographic and editing techniques, learning to light images appropriately (and nail exposure). And get closer! I would sort out some of these basic issues before continuing to upload (and then I’d start a new account, from scratch, rather than adding to your current portfolio).

 

On the positive side, I can see you enjoy finding/making more abstract images (such as T5BXMR, RYY13E, PGRCMX), which reflect your eye for shape, colour, light, texture and design. I could see you contributing to one of the smaller ‘boutique’ agencies which specialise in this type of imagery…

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While it's always better to get good exposure in camera, you could easily improve some images with better post processing by reducing highlight and opening the shadow. Spend some time on the millions of tutorial online to learn more. I would stop uloading until you get better results. There is a way to get the official lightroom and photoshop subscription for free if you upload images somewhere (send me pm if interested as it is link with alamy competitor). 

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4 hours ago, John Morrison said:

The replies you’ve had so far have been much too kind! Stock is about making strong visual statements about saleable subjects, in a way that will attract interest even at thumbnail size. You have too many similars (model aircraft show, for example), which suggests you’re not editing tightly enough. Too many pictures are under-exposed and gloomy, with ‘blocked’ shadows (with a pic like TR781P, I had to look twice to if there was anything in the image at all). Others are over-exposed and ‘washed out’. Bird pix (like MT9KC5) have to compete with images shot with long lenses, and a dragonfly occupying 1% of the picture area (PT3CCP) is unlikely to sell. Sky-divers are just dots in the sky. There are too many distant figures on unremarkable beaches (with wonky horizons). Interior shots with white balance way too ‘warm’, ie orange (WNMJFK). A “stunningly beautiful view” (WMGBPK) doesn’t quite live up to the description. Etc.

 

My advice would be to take a deep breath, review your portfolio with a critical eye and compare your pix to the other images you find in sample searches around your subject matter. Spend time on photographic and editing techniques, learning to light images appropriately (and nail exposure). And get closer! I would sort out some of these basic issues before continuing to upload (and then I’d start a new account, from scratch, rather than adding to your current portfolio).

 

On the positive side, I can see you enjoy finding/making more abstract images (such as T5BXMR, RYY13E, PGRCMX), which reflect your eye for shape, colour, light, texture and design. I could see you contributing to one of the smaller ‘boutique’ agencies which specialise in this type of imagery…

 


You are right John. No doubt Helen could have benefited greatly if she had asked for this review before uploading so many technically substandard images. It is surprising that QC have actually allowed so many severely underexposed images through in fact given that they exposure and tonal range are part of the criteria.

 

However, she is very enthusiastic, is taking the criticism very well and is clearly willing to learn so that is all very positive. There have been others who have come on here with similar questions who have not taken anything on board and reacted very badly to valid and genuine criticism. I think she will come through this well as she has a good eye for a shot.

 

And you are right about those marine horizons - they should be level. A simple crop would do the trick there. 

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5 hours ago, John Morrison said:

My advice would be to take a deep breath, review your portfolio with a critical eye and compare your pix to the other images you find in sample searches around your subject matter. Spend time on photographic and editing techniques, learning to light images appropriately (and nail exposure). And get closer!

Yes, it probably needed someone to play 'bad cop' here, your advice is all good and I'm sure Helen will take it in good heart. 

 

Helen, if you're reading this, Canon is quite unique in that the distance from the lens flange to the sensor is shorter than most DSLRs so you can use a variety of very good older lenses from other manufacturers via an adapter. You have to use them on manual (you're used to that) and either use them wide open or stop them down manually but for a cheap way into Macro it could work for you. I recommend Fotodiox Pro adapters, secondhand is fine, there's nothing to wear really. The exceptional Nikon 55mm Ai/Ais f2.8 Micro-Nikkor is surprisingly inexpensive secondhand though I suppose a longer 100mm Macro is more versatile and easier to use on location.

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6 hours ago, Harry Harrison said:

Yes, it probably needed someone to play 'bad cop' here, your advice is all good and I'm sure Helen will take it in good heart. 

 

Helen, if you're reading this, Canon is quite unique in that the distance from the lens flange to the sensor is shorter than most DSLRs so you can use a variety of very good older lenses from other manufacturers via an adapter. You have to use them on manual (you're used to that) and either use them wide open or stop them down manually but for a cheap way into Macro it could work for you. I recommend Fotodiox Pro adapters, secondhand is fine, there's nothing to wear really. The exceptional Nikon 55mm Ai/Ais f2.8 Micro-Nikkor is surprisingly inexpensive secondhand though I suppose a longer 100mm Macro is more versatile and easier to use on location.

 

That Nikkor 55 AIS is a truly superb lens. I still have mine - almost 20 years old now. Nikon actually still make these as far as I know. 

 

However, if I was a Canon user I would be thinking about the equally legendary 90mm Tamron which can be had for <£200 secondhand for the non-VC version. The fact that it would work properly on a 5D would swing it for me. It is also an excellent portrait lens and goes to full lifesize whereas the Nikkor is only half lifesize. 

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34 minutes ago, MDM said:

I would be thinking about the equally legendary 90mm Tamron

 

That's good to know, I'm really going to try hard to stop myself from looking for one - but for Helen's benefit (honestly!) would that be the f2.5, so-called 52B, like this perhaps?

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1 hour ago, Harry Harrison said:

 

That's good to know, I'm really going to try hard to stop myself from looking for one - but for Helen's benefit (honestly!) would that be the f2.5, so-called 52B, like this perhaps?

 

No that is a much older manual focus version. I had a few of these Adaptall leness back in the early 80s - a 28 and 135 and a newer 90 as well. As far as I know the Adaptall ones don't work on Canons - they did until Canon changed their original mount to EOS way back. I presume it would be the same as using a manual Nikkor if you could get an adapter as you mention above. They are optically very decent for macro work but a lot of hassle having no metering and needing to manually stop down. No I was talking about a modern autofocus one  which as I said is also an excellent portrait lens. That one is the version without vibration control. There is a newer one with VC but a lot more expensive.

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1 hour ago, MDM said:

 

That Nikkor 55 AIS is a truly superb lens. I still have mine - almost 20 years old now. Nikon actually still make these as far as I know. 

 

However, if I was a Canon user I would be thinking about the equally legendary 90mm Tamron which can be had for <£200 secondhand for the non-VC version. The fact that it would work properly on a 5D would swing it for me. It is also an excellent portrait lens and goes to full lifesize whereas the Nikkor is only half lifesize. 

 

I have the Tamron 90mm VC Macro, have used it with crop and full frame sensors, an excellent lens. On the downside if you are using it for non macro and need fast autofocus it's lacking. The latest incarnation jumped up in price.

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4 minutes ago, sb photos said:

 

I have the Tamron 90mm VC Macro, have used it with crop and full frame sensors, an excellent lens. On the downside if you are using it for non macro and need fast autofocus it's lacking. The latest incarnation jumped up in price.

 

Yes there was a big jump in price a few years ago when Tamron started bringing out their quality primes. Perhaps they realised what a bargain it was for around £350 or so and it went up over the £600 mark.  I have the same older one as yours in Nikon mount with VR and it is very decent indeed. The VR is very good and the AF is certainly fast enough for portraiture. I have never tried it for anything that needed real fast AF tracking speed. 

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I'll also put in a good word for the non VC Tamron 90mm autofocus.  A fair few of my close ups and macro shots have been taken with this lens on earlier Canon 400D/600D/80D bodies - often in combination with a Canon flash off camera;  This set up - though usually with a cheap softbox.:

 

Macro_flash_setup_IMG_0219.JPG

 

Tamron 90mm, Kirk bracket and 430EX - my relatively low budget macro flash kit

 

And, yes, they were bought second hand to keep costs down.

 

This sale (x2) for the combination dropped in today:

 

False widow spider, Steatoda grossa, on cracked old paintwork Stock Photo

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Thanks all, sorry guys, I have been fiddling away with my camera and checking histograms.  I have also checked my LCD which I found was set way down & turned to the darkside . 😨I have decided to begin on a mass trawl and culling of specific existing content ( although I note 90 days lapse period before deletion).

I will continue uploading to existing account however I will  keep quality in mind for upload. I have started re-reading old photography content for review.  Thanks for all the suggestions, including those on lenses and equipment. That Fotodiox Pro adapter sounds interesting. With one exception, I have always purchased secondhand . There are so many suppliers out there. I have been speaking to one of my friends, who is recommending prime lenses over telephoto. I will need to continue saving for a while longer and I might possibly try hire before I commit.I may need a longer prime as well, if I want to capture particular wildlife in detail.  There are a few companies hiring out even taking into account deposit fees, insurance could be better option. I will retain reference to this thread as well for all your suggestions, thank you all very much. 


I do like abstracts you are right about that, impressionist filmy, arty stuff, nature, natural world subjects. The techniques used by some macro photographers are very impressive indeed.  I watched this guy Thomas Shahan - An Introduction to High-Magnification Macro Photography a few months ago there are so many inspiring photographers out there. Also with the internet now plenty of tutorials and information. I found out why the dedicated use clamps on plants etc when I tried using my raynox 250 on a breezy day ( it operates a bit like a magnifer) however not without its problems. 


Back on point - I will discard the image review flashing on my old lcd which always seems to bear no resemblance to the final image. I think the best course of action is to pay more attention to my histogram, making timely adjustments in camera more appropriate to lighting conditions.

 

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13 hours ago, R De Marigny said:

Thanks all, sorry guys, I have been fiddling away with my camera and checking histograms.  I have also checked my LCD which I found was set way down & turned to the darkside . 😨I have decided to begin on a mass trawl and culling of specific existing content ( although I note 90 days lapse period before deletion).

 

Back on point - I will discard the image review flashing on my old lcd which always seems to bear no resemblance to the final image. I think the best course of action is to pay more attention to my histogram, making timely adjustments in camera more appropriate to lighting conditions.

 

 

Hi Helen,

I'm glad you've taken all the comments in a positive way. I'm sure you're going to enjoy macro, I'm even feeling inspired to have a look at some YouTube videos on macro photography now, I've basically just been going out and doing it without reading up too much on it.

 

It's good that you're going to be checking your camera histogram. As you say, it is a problem viewing back the photos you've taken on an LCD, particularly on a bright sunny day. I do try to expose correctly myself in camera, but to be honest, as long as the picture doesn't have burned out highlights or shadows, then it doesn't matter too much in a way because I can sort out the exposure and highlights, shadows etc. in Lightroom afterwards when I'm looking at my calibrated computer screen. It's quite quick with the sliders in Lightroom. So, I would recommend, if you can, to try and edit your (raw file) photos afterwards with some sort of photo editing software. It really does make a huge difference. Otherwise, you're relying on the in-camera photo processing software which creates your JPEGs. It's sometimes pretty good in the latest cameras, often quite iffy in older models.

 

Good luck!

Steve

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9 minutes ago, Steve F said:

 

 

It's good that you're going to be checking your camera histogram. As you say, it is a problem viewing back the photos you've taken on an LCD, particularly on a bright sunny day. I do try to expose correctly myself in camera, but to be honest, as long as the picture doesn't have burned out highlights or shadows, then it doesn't matter too much in a way because I can sort out the exposure and highlights, shadows etc. in Lightroom afterwards when I'm looking at my calibrated computer screen. It's quite quick with the sliders in Lightroom. So, I would recommend, if you can, to try and edit your (raw file) photos afterwards with some sort of photo editing software. It really does make a huge difference. Otherwise, you're relying on the in-camera photo processing software which creates your JPEGs. It's sometimes pretty good in the latest cameras, often quite iffy in older models.

 

Good luck!

Steve

 

I agree with most of this but I would actually not bother too much with the camera histogram myself - it's the raw histogram in post-processing that is the important thing, not least as a check on computer monitor brightness. Helen perhaps misinterpreted earlier comments and is talking about the camera histogram and LCD screen which is not what was meant. So, as you say, getting the exposure right in camera is desirable but not at all essential as long as one is shooting raw and processing the images afterwards. In fact she could try exposure bracketing to see the effects of under and over-exposure. The really important thing is to shoot raw, to learn how to expose and post-process properly. 

 

I see people saying how much in-camera jpegs have improved but any time I check this out I can't see it myself. It remains a trivial exercise to do a basic raw conversion on a computer and retain all the control that shooting raw provides over white balance, noise, highlight and shadow detail recovery. I don't encourage anyone to shoot jpegs - better to get it right from the start. 

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6 minutes ago, MDM said:

 

I agree with most of this but I would actually not bother too much with the camera histogram myself - it's the raw histogram in post-processing that is the important thing, not least as a check on computer monitor brightness. Helen perhaps misinterpreted earlier comments and is talking about the camera histogram and LCD screen which is not what was meant. So, as you say, getting the exposure right in camera is desirable but not at all essential as long as one is shooting raw and processing the images afterwards. In fact she could try exposure bracketing to see the effects of under and over-exposure. The really important thing is to shoot raw, to learn how to expose and post-process properly. 

 

I see people saying how much in-camera jpegs have improved but any time I check this out I can't see it myself. It remains a trivial exercise to do a basic raw conversion on a computer and retain all the control that shooting raw provides over white balance, noise, highlight and shadow detail recovery. I don't encourage anyone to shoot jpegs - better to get it right from the start. 

 

+1. I don't actually use my camera histogram, but I'm invariably shooting with Aperture Priority so my camera normally gets the exposure more or less ok automatically, and I otherwise just use exposure compensation. If I was shooting in manual and my LCD wasn't so good, then maybe I would use the histogram. I never use JPEGs either.

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