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What one looks better?

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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Edit: Forget or just ignore that stupid poll...

I am trying to dial my technique in for taking pictures of my flies. I am sort of shooting in the dark here, so let me know what one you think looks the best. Also if you have any advice, please chime in. My camera isn't state of the art, but it does ok.

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
threshershark said:
I like the first one, it seems to have preserved more of the green tones with a shorter exposure. What kind of lighting are you shooting under and what white balance mode are you using?
The lighting comes from some flouresent bulbs, the natural light lamps. I have two lamps that I am using. Any suggestions on what type of lighting would be best for this?

Not sure what you mean by white light balance mode. I am not even sure my camera has such a feature. :lol:
 

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White balance is kind of a strange photography term because it actually is the function of the camera that decides what is neutral in the exposure. Most cameras have a menu to change this, and common settings are: Auto (A), Cloudy (usually an icon of a cloud), Shade (usually an icon of a tree or house casting a shadow), Sunny (sun icon), and Tungsten (icon of a flourescent bulb). This feature changes how color is perceived by the camera. For example, red colors are the first to wash out in shade, and consequently a shade white balance adds red to the photo. Under artificial light, using a Tungsten white balance setting would probably achieve more natural colors. Check your camera's user manual to see if you can set this and if so give it a try. Some even allow you to configure manual settings in Kelvin, and 2500K is a good setting for artificial light too. Anyway that's much to do about nothing, I thought the first photo was nicely exposed and showed the colors well. Flies with more oranges and reds would likely be more affected by the white balance selection.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Actually that does makes sense to me. I was just reading up on white balance on the www. You just filled in the gabs nicely. Thanks! I will see what my camera can do, and retake some photos and post them again and see if they are any better.

I had no idea this white balance existed... no wonder my indoor photos suck so bad.
 

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RNF, now your eyes are open. White balance is a big "secret" because once you play around with it and discover how it affects the photo, everything changes.

For example, I take a lot of outdoor photos in direct light using the SHADE white balance! This seems like the opposite of what you might normally do, but remember that this is telling the camera to give more weight to reds. If I'm shooting red rock, grain fields, wetlands, outdoor portraits, or any subject where I want a warmer tone I'll use a shade white balance.

You will also find that the tungsten WB setting does some very cool things with cooler color temperatures like moonlight. Shoot in late evenings or even with long exposures under moonlight w/ a tungsten WB and you will get some amazing blues in the images.

Sometime when you see a cool shot, take one frame in each of the white balance settings and then look at the results. It's fun stuff.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for the tips threshershark. Quick question. My camera has an option to manually set White Balance. Should I use this feature or stick with the preset ones?

Here are some more photos taken with my manual white balance settings.





 

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I'd use the presets unless you don't quite get the results you want. For example, sometimes the tungsten on one of my cameras is a little too orange for flesh tones. That's when I will go in and monkey with a manual setting. Most of the time you won't need to.

I like these pictures better, I could hardly tell the dubbing was spectrumized in the first set, and now I see more of the contrast in the greens and distinction w/ the browns.

Nice work.
 

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Looking spot on to me, I like the exposure in the second frame of both, it looks slightly less grainy like you're using a bit longer exposure but consequently a lower and less grainy ISO. Nice colors.
 

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Incidentally check out this average/ordinary dusk landscape shot with a tungsten WB. It makes the moonlight off the houses very blue, the street lights orange, and you can also see some nice greens where there is enough light to show them. This shot would have been pretty blah under auto settings, I found it on kenrockwell.com & it's a good example.

http://kenrockwell.com/nikon/24-70mm/im ... 0_0038.JPG
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Wow, those colors just pop out. Pretty cool looking. I will have to do some experimenting for sure. I had a decent SLR camera back in the day and knew how to use that, but got tired of developing film. I really am pretty clueless on how to use a digital camera, but this info should help alot.

Thanks again for sharing.
 

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I would like for my photos to be better too, so me giving you advice is probably wrong.

Your second batch is good. I like #2 in the second batch. You might try a small tri-pod on small items like flies. Does your camera have a macro setting? Are you using it?

You can also try something fun with small items. Get a flash light, or a couple with different types of light. Put your camera on a tri-pod or make sure it is anchored still somewhere. Set the camera's aperture to 3 seconds to start. Make sure the room is pitch black. Then hit the button on your camera. While it is taking the picture, move the flash light all around the item you are photographing. Take a look at your results and make adjustments to how far you hold back the light or how long the aperture stays open. I got some great results on some handguns I photographed once this way.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Yes my camera has a macro and I do use it. Also using a tripod as well. I like the way the photos are turning out by using a slow shutter speed. The last batch of photo's were taken with a 1.5 second shutter delay.

Would be interesting to see how a photo of a small fly would turn out by using a flash light in the dark.
 

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Id use the rear sync flash instead of the front curtain if you are going to go that route and see if you can stop down the flash intensity down a bit, so its more of a fill.
 
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