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Any Photographers Here?

Worker 11811

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Do we have any photographers here at the Fur Den?


I have studied photography for years, since I was a kid. My father taught me when I was young. I took my first official photography lessons in high school and continued through college.


After many years, I finally have a fully equipped darkroom in my basement. I use it to make photos for my own enjoyment and, occasionally, to generate income but most of my pictures are shared only with family and friends.


This photo is one I took almost 20 years ago as part of my photography studies at Northeastern University in Boston.


Now that we can add attachments to our posts, this would be a good opportunity for members to show off their stuff.

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Great photo


the old building etc make it a good candidate background for a b/w photo today. But most young folks today I've found don't understand Black and White. Why use it if you could use colour?

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Nice photo! I like both b/w and color photos myself. Depending on what the photo is of or about, b/w can make a better photo, definitely.


I got my start years ago on a camping trip in Canada. It's taken a while since then but I started with digital cameras a couple of years ago and it's been a real test, trying to remember all the tricks. I spend most of my time, taking pictures of the critters in my salt water aquarium now. I enjoy trying to get detailed photos of the corals, showing what they really look like.

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Because photography, all photography, whether it be color, black and white, film or digicam is about LIGHT. Photography means, "Painting with light."


A good photograph uses light, shadow and the contrast between them to record the image and to convey meaning. It matters not if the photo is black and white or color. What is dark? What is light? How does the light go from dark to light or vice versa? If a photographer can not understand that he can not make a good photograph. It won't matter whether he's shooting in color or black and white. It won't matter whether he is using a 50 year old film camera or using the latest electronic digi-snapper. The inability to understand light translates directly to the inability to take good photographs.


Using black and white film boils an image down to its essence of light, shadow and contrast. It makes the photographer concentrate on focus, exposure and composition. It forces the photographer to think about his work because he doesn't have color to use as a crutch.


Take a photograph of a sunset over the ocean using black and white. You can't pick up the red and orange clouds reflecting over the blue water. Unless you are very careful, you won't get a picture of anything but dark clouds in the sky. Make those clouds be the background for a sailing ship and, now, you're telling a story! The very same clouds, which once were ordinary clouds, are now a backdrop for the captain of a tall ship's voyage into the raging sea. Take those very same clouds and make them the backdrop behind two silhouette figures walking on the beach and the "Old Man and the Sea" suddenly turns into a pair of lovers having a sunset stroll. In fact, it might be possible to take both pictures while standing on the same shoreline, in the same location, at the same time but, because all you saw was the red and orange clouds, you might have passed up a great photo for a mediocre one. All because you could only concentrate on the color of the image and not the quality of the light and makeup of the composition.


I could make color photographs in my darkroom but it is more complex and more expensive. Further, I prefer black and white for the simplicity of it and because I just like black and white images. Here is a black and white photo I took last summer:[attachment=0]globe.jpg[/attachment]

It could have been a color photo but I think it wouldn't have been the same if it was. The character would have been totally different.


If you really want to learn about photography, I believe that you must study black and white before you can become a truly successful photographer regardless of whether you intend to shoot in color or even if you intend to use a digital camera.


Kappa, there is a salt water aquarium at the college where I work. There are clown fish and anemone living there. I have tried taking photos of the critters living in the tank but have only come up with mediocre photos at best. I am curious to see what kind of pictures you got.

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When taking photos of the "inhabitants" in my tank, I've struggled and through trial and error, I've done pretty well. I still have a lot to learn, I'll never claim that I've learned it all. I still want to learn more. These are just a few photos of who lives in my tank. I'm actually getting ready to move from one tank to another. I'm upscaling right now from 125 gallon tank to a 250 gallon tank. Everyone, fish, corals, echinoderms (brittle star fish), all need more room to grow.





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That first one of the anemone looks like it's budding off. That probably means your tank is healthy enough to support them and that there is enough food and light. Nice job! It looks like you keep your tank nice and clean. I often have trouble getting good shots through the algae that grows on the glass.


From what I learned, you have to be careful with anemone because they can take over a tank if you don't keep them in check. The tank at school has had problems with anemone moving in and stinging the soft corals. There are bubble tipped anemone which try to horn in on the elephant ear corals and the stag horn corals. They have to separate them or else they'll sting each other to death.


In the second one, is that some kind of pulsating xenia? Our tank has a couple that look something like that.


There are also a few feather duster worms. I think they look cool but I have never gotten a good picture of them. You have to sit very still and wait until they are open but if you make one false move they instantly contract. I think I will probably have to get a tripod and a long cable release to get the picture I want.


P.S... Look down at the bottom of the posting and editing dialog. There is a new section titled "Upload Attachment." You can not post pictures directly on the "Pub" forum and you don't have to host them on another site to get them to appear. If you notice, there's also a little caption at the bottom of the thumbnail that tells you the name of the photo and how many times people have clicked on it to view it.


Check it out!

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The first picture is of my Firecracker coral or Dendrophyllia. I do have and have kept anemone's in my tank. With the impending move though, I'm holding off on getting another one. The second picture is of a Green Acropora. When I first started into salt water, I started out with soft corals, the easy ones and over the last few years, I've been changing them out for what people traditionally call corals. The type you will see on reefs in warmer waters. The last picture is of my Achilles Tang. I've recently learned that I'm one of a couple of people that have successfully kept them. It's kind of nice to hear that you're special once and a while.

Over all, I've been keeping fish to one extent or another now for over 30 years. It's only been over the last 10 that I've been involved with salt water. Then, a couple of years ago, I started to construct my digital camera arsenal and began trial and error with taking pictures of my tanks. To get some nice pictures for my digital albums, improve my skills and to track growth progress (the last part is part of my need for details in the hobby).

I do use a tripod regularly and I've also been playing with a Macro lens as well. The pictures need to be straight on or else the tank glass, no matter the quality, will distort the picture. There are also filters a person can use to adjust for the lighting used on the tank as well.

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Ok, let's see if I can get this photo to attach... (...and work )


This is one I took back in 2005 while on a cruise. I was still experimenting with the assorted features of my, then new, dSLR (Canon). Found the selection for black and white and wanted to see what it would do on a low overcast/grey day in Glacier Bay, Alaska.



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Not bad!


At first, I thought that a picture on a gray day would be a flat, low contrast image and, yes it is.

But I downloaded it and tinkered with it for a minute and I increased the contrast. I looked at it for a minute and decided that the low contrast original was better. I think the contrast (or lack, thereof) is what makes the picture.


To me, the image conveys the feeling of a cold, damp gray day. The misty clouds surround the scene. A patina of broken ice floats on the water. If you pump up the contrast you remove that cold, misty feeling.


I like the way the water line between the mountain and the bay split the center line of the image. It shows the division between land and sea.


The only thing I can think of as a suggestion would be to put a red filter over the lens. (Or simulate it digitally.) That might bring out more detail in the clouds but it will also cost you at least a stop of exposure. If the original scene is already gray and dark you might run into the limits of your camera's ƒ-stop and shutter speed settings or else you would have to go with a tripod. In that case you might not have been able to get the picture because a tripod might not have been practical in the situation.


Pretty nice!

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Given that I only had the camera, at that point, for about 2 weeks; I figure I was doing pretty good on a few of my shots given some of the conditions at the time. I'll add another photo here for comparison.


This one was taken in color and maybe a minute or two before the one posted above. Both were taken around 2pm or 3pm (if I remember the time zones right) at the end of August. This one looses some of the lower haze/mist detail that came out in the B/W shot though.


I think I was more interested in just getting some photos to remember being on a cruise in Alaska instead of trying to come up with some fancy pictures. I try to experiment more these days, but I still need to pick up some more filters and other things. Depending on where I am; I still just take general shots that might just be something I don't generally see (off at another airport and something else goes by...)

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I like the second one better.


Just the hint of color in an otherwise gray image highlights the cold, stark feeling of the picture and adds more detail to the rock, the water and the clouds.


The angle of view is also better in this image. You can see more of the rocky shoreline beyond the tip of the mountain where it meets the water.


Where color information is missing or subdued, minute details are more important. This image is better because of that detail.


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  • 1 month later...

I was out shooting around last weekend and I made these two shots:

[attachment=1]Kayak Sunset 1b.jpg[/attachment] [attachment=0]Kayak Sunset 2b.jpg[/attachment]


I was standing by the water. I saw this scene and I just racked off two frames with the motor drive.

I knew I was shooting directly into the sun. I knew the exposure meter was going to go wonky and blow out the film but I thought, "What the hell? Go for it anyway!" I think I over exposed by two stops but I'm not sure. I didn't keep notes on this roll of film. I was just out and about.


So, which one do you guys think is better?

The first one where the kayak is approaching the sunbeam on the water or the second one where the kayak is going through the sunbeam?


I really like the dark mood of the image. As I said, I expected the sun to burn out but I was pleasantly surprised at the result.

I can crank up the exposure of the print to brighten the area around the outside but I kind of like it as-is.


What do you think?

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