P mode setup tips needed

Discussion in 'Photo Hut' started by dacuban1, Sep 13, 2010.

  1. dacuban1

    dacuban1 Well-Known Member

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    Lately with the help of Eric and Woody ive been stepping it up a bit and have been shooting in P mode.

    I still think my pictures are lacking something. I was curious to see what setup you are using when shooting in P. I want that sharp, clean shot like Richards last redfish pics. Those are plain sick.

    Im pretty good in photoshop shop so any info on editing would be cool too.

    The bottom picture of the bonefish was shot in P. Take a look and let me know what you think. I think im missing out something in the cameras setting.

    [​IMG]
     
  2. skinny_water

    skinny_water Well-Known Member

    First of all, the picture is great. Good dynamics and staging. You have the basics down.

    The only issues are that it is slightly over exposed, and the glare on the fishes head. The glare on the head is an easy fix. Think of it like a mirror. Direct the mirror away from the lens and the glare is gone. The sight over exposure is evident in the white shirt being blown out, and the low contrast in the sky. Because of the longer explanation I will make it a new paragraph...

    Are you using a polarizing filter? I would be using one for this shot. If you are using one there is a quick fix. It's called exposure compensation. You don't have to use it all the time. But because you are shooting in program mode and not changing your shutter speed it's a must to know how to do. Behind the release button there is a little button that has a +/- on it. While looking at the screen of the camera hold it down. You will see it light up on the screen. You adjust it by spinning the thumb dial. I would set it for -1.0 for the direct sunlight shots. And if you review them and they are still too light maybe go to -1.5. For your second picture that you adjusted the contrast very high, try using the -1.5 to -2.0 to make sure you have the color correct.

    As for editing. I didn't edit my pictures. I just cropped them a little to make sure I didn't have any location identifiers in the frame and put my name on them. The only thing I really use Photoshop for is to add special effects. Take more pictures and it will have more to choose from. Also ask your anglers to try and avoid wearing white. Your first picture was edited fine. The second picture you adjusted a bunch of things. As far as i can tell you adjusted your brightness, contrast. If you under expose the picture in the camera it will make it so that you don't have the halo effect on the horizon and around the heads. Adjusting the contrast way up always looks sweet. But you will need to take down your saturation a couple (around -4 or -5) to correct the colors. I really think the key is to make the color tones as close to real as possible. Skin tone really shows over saturation so watch look there first.

    And now the long part. Camera Settings. These are what I would be using if I was shooting in program mode.

    Start by placing your camera on the “P” setting. And enter the shooting menu. I will go down the menu in order to make it easier for me. I have the camera in my hand while I am typing this. Go to picture control. Select Vivid. Don’t adjust anything else in the vivid scale or it will make your colors look not realistic. Image Quality. I shoot RAW, but I don’t expect any one else to. That’s a pretty big file. JPEG Fine is good for most. Select the Image size as large. This will give you the most material to edit. For the white balance I selected cloudy. This helps you fill your shadows and doesn’t darken your highlights to bad. ISO setting I only use 100 shooting during the day. Sunrise I might use 200 or 400, but never anything higher with the d3000. It makes the pictures grainy. Noise Reduction should be on. Release Mode set as Continuous. That’s so you can get your jump shots. Also when you take a picture of a fish it gives you more frames to choose from. The more you take the better your chances are of getting “the shot” I think on the mini trip with Erik I shot in the neighborhood of 50-70 pictures, and I only used 4.

    Hope this helps. Post up any more questions that you have and I will help ya out!

    -Richard
     

  3. skinny_water

    skinny_water Well-Known Member

    I will trade you a bonefish trip for that information. Just let me know what flies I have to tie. :cool:
     
  4. aaronshore

    aaronshore Well-Known Member

    I never shoot in the :p: mode. I always use Manual or :M: I always shoot RAW files. I base my exposures on several things, one being the reflected light meter in my camera. In Photoshop the RAW menu is one of the most powerful settings.
     
  5. skinny_water

    skinny_water Well-Known Member

    x2. Totally agree. M is the way to go!

    Light meter doesn't work in P mode because it automatically sets your shutter speed. 
     
  6. dacuban1

    dacuban1 Well-Known Member

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    You tell me whenever you want to come down. Always have seats available. We'll pick the right tides for ya!

    As far as the info goes, i really appreciate the help. I will try that out and see what happens. I'll keep ya posted.

    The second pic I edited was just me messing around attempting a fake HDR...LOL
     
  7. dacuban1

    dacuban1 Well-Known Member

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    The light meter: This brings up another question. The light meter is adjusted by the dial if im not mistaken..(M mode.) Now on the meter, after adjusting the iso to the conditions, where should the meter be? in the center? And are shots in M allot better than P?
    It just seems allot easier to shoot in P cause you dont have to mess with anything. But if the results are allot better i will learn manual.
     
  8. skinny_water

    skinny_water Well-Known Member

    It really allows you to change on the fly.  On most pictures you want the light meter to be in the middle to start.  I shoot two or three shots and quickly look at the screen for results.  Too dark scroll to the left a couple clicks.  Too light scroll to the right.  Don't try and move more than a couple clicks at a time till ya get used to it.  And again, take lots of pictures.  Nikon View NX will allow you to see your settings that you used for your shot.  You can compare between pictures as well.  This is the best way to learn IMO.

    And yes, it is adjusted by the dial. If you don't see your shutter speed changing tap the release button half way down. This will let you scroll to the shutter speed you want.
     
  9. aaronshore

    aaronshore Well-Known Member

    So, maybe more information about the light meter than you might care. Its still good to know though.

    Basically, if you took your average black and white photo, blended all of the tones together, you would have a color called 18% grey. That is what your light meter on your camera reads. Reflected light at 18% grey. On your normal photograph your light meter will want to be right around the middle. You can change it by adjusting your shutter speed or your aperature. It can be fooled however on high key (white girl in a white bikini on a white beach) or low key (black guy in a black outfit against a black wall) scenes.

    I always shoot manual and really anyone who cares what their photographs look like, or the art of photography should as well. Having COMPLETE control of your camera and exposures is the way to go for sure.

    Also on my camera I turn on the highlight clipping warning. In digital if you have a highlight clipping there is no information available. It is better to shoot in RAW and underexpose slightly, then add some fill light in the RAW menu of Photoshop.
     
  10. dacuban1

    dacuban1 Well-Known Member

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    The only problem for me shooting raw is that for some reason the photoshop cs3 i have doesnt support it. I can shoot in raw than convert to tif or jpeg but i think that defeats the purpose.
     
  11. tom_in_orl

    tom_in_orl Founder of Microskiff, Member of the Gheenoe Army

    I use Photoshop from the CS3 bundle with RAW. Try right clicking on the photo and selecting Open With\Photoshop.
     
  12. aaronshore

    aaronshore Well-Known Member

    Google camera raw plug-in cs3 (insert camera model here)

    My CS4 was the same way because my camera was so new it didnt support the RAW files. I just downloaded the plug in, installed it and was good to go. Took like 3 minutes.
     
  13. dacuban1

    dacuban1 Well-Known Member

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    Will try tonight...Thx for the help guys!
     
  14. skinny_water

    skinny_water Well-Known Member

    x2. It's a codec issue. When you install Photoshop it asked me if I wanted to install the RAW codec and I had to download it. It's free.

    Good Luck!
     
  15. paint it black

    paint it black Paddling away...

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    Don't mean to hi jack, but I took this shot.
    For some reason, whenever I take pics of Alonzo in M he looks orange.
    I mean, he does have a crazy tan, but he's not as orange as he looks in the pictures!

    These shots are in Manual, with the dial centered with a shutter speed in the range that Richard suggested to me when I first bought the camera.


    This was the same day with Alex and Alonzo.
    [​IMG]

    This was the day that me and Alonzo went back to back on 10lb bones.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  16. skinny_water

    skinny_water Well-Known Member

    It's because your camera is set too vivid for his skin tones. It happens more with tan people. Go into the Shooting menu. Go to Set Picture Control. Go to Vivid. Right click on the dial. Using quick adjust move everything back to the middle. This should correct your issue.

    Also on that first picture bring the fish into the light a little more. It will allow more light to bring out the contrast in the fishes color.
     
  17. paint it black

    paint it black Paddling away...

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    lol yeah about that angle, Alex was hogging all the angles.
    he was sitting next to me and leaving over, there was no way I can get that angle unless I would have pushed him overboard. lol
     
  18. skinny_water

    skinny_water Well-Known Member

    Thats what I woulda done... or been in the water. Erik tends to make me have to get in the water. He will hook into a Redfish and like Steve Irwin goes "I am going to get in the water with this one." Always good for a laugh.
     
  19. paint it black

    paint it black Paddling away...

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    lol screw that, I enjoy my balls to be mudless. lol
     
  20. aaronshore

    aaronshore Well-Known Member

    Eric. Also try to adjust your white balance (I think). If its sunny, put it on sunny, cloudy, flash..........you get the point. Sometimes that helps also.
     
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