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  1. #1
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    Those lichens are AWESOME!
    Be respectful to the disrespectful, wise to the unwise, caring to the uncaring, courteous to the uncourteous.
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  2. #2
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    Getting braver with the dLSR.

    Have been pretty reluctant to take the "nice" camera out on rides around here since everything is sharp jagged rocks of death. I can just picture myself going down and smashing it. Though not the worse thing since I can then buy a new one it won't make the wife happy since to her cell phones work just fine for pictures. Anyway here are a few recent shots. Just learning LR so still not the greatest at editing. Post some of these in passion but thought on here I could get some C&C.





    Missed getting in all of the tire on this. Like using my 35mm prime so you gotta be mindful of where you are shooting to get everything.


    Not having the best of luck lighting up faces when the helmet casts a shadow.


    After ride festivities.










    So C&C away if you please I will only cry at home in private so you won't have to feel bad.

  3. #3
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    What camera do you have Bigworm? They have some good compact cameras like the Sony NEX-5N that the body is about the same size as a P&S. The only thing you have to worry about on those is protecting the lens which some are just almost as expensive as the camera itself.

    I bought one last week but returned it as I thought a second GoPro and a top notch P&S would probably serve me better for what I do on the trails but when the $$ gets in, I'll probably go back and buy the Sony again. It is a marvelous compact.
    I don't use Strava. Don't need an application to tell me I am slow because I already know.

  4. #4
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    I have a Nikon d3100. Have great P&S already but nothing beats the lsr.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigworm520 View Post
    I have a Nikon d3100. Have great P&S already but nothing beats the lsr.
    Pretty good camera there. Plenty of times on the trail would like to get a nice pic but the P&S just doesn't zoom enough and when it does, the pic usually doesn't turn out that good. Digital zoom on a P&S usually means more noise in the pic from the cameras I have had.
    I don't use Strava. Don't need an application to tell me I am slow because I already know.

  6. #6
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    PS - almost got a job in Tucson but they hired another person instead...had my hopes up but better luck next time. You got some wonderful riding down there.
    I don't use Strava. Don't need an application to tell me I am slow because I already know.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lawson Raider View Post
    PS - almost got a job in Tucson but they hired another person instead...had my hopes up but better luck next time. You got some wonderful riding down there.
    Dang well hopefully next time. The riding down here is amazing and we now have even more with CDO and Sammie being opened off of Lemmon.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigworm520 View Post
    Dang well hopefully next time. The riding down here is amazing and we now have even more with CDO and Sammie being opened off of Lemmon.
    I hear you. Always nice to get more stuff to ride.
    I don't use Strava. Don't need an application to tell me I am slow because I already know.

  9. #9
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    Nice pics

    This caught my eye cause I'm just gettin back into the sport and during my leave I picked up the even more expensive hobby of photography. Like your photos and makes me jealous of that terrain. The picture of the flower caught my eye. Very nice color combos and contrast. Thought you could try keeping rider and flower in focus with riders back to camera. I like that kind of shot (close up wide angle that puts the viewer in the scene). That is some harsh light to shoot in. Try using on camera flash to fill shadows on faces if distances are close enough. May need external flash though. Shooting late in the day with sun in riders face would work. Keep taking pics. I'm loving seeing these shots in the passion posts. I'm curious to know how you pack your gear. If you read this let me know.

  10. #10
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    I bought one of those clik chest packs but hate it. Way to annoying having it on my chest. I pulled the straps off of it and just use the pouch. I stick it into the open part of my pack with a strap thru the handle thing in case it flies out.

  11. #11
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    Hey Bigworm,
    You said you are using a prime lens, if it isn't too long you can try using a flash to light up rider's faces.
    Definitely enjoyed your photos!

  12. #12
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    Nice shots Bigworm. Being in Tucson and a photography hobbyist myself, I hope to be able to bring my dSLR out on rides eventually. I am a newb to mountain biking, but once I am more confident in negotiating trails I will definitely be bringing the dSLR along. Keep shooting!

    Sent from my HTC_Amaze_4G using Tapatalk 2

  13. #13
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    Please keep in mind that while I have enjoyed looking at these, this is C&C requested by the OP and meant to be taken as such, and therefore I am more or less picking fly poop out of the pepper :~)

    1) I can't tell for sure if you have or not, but with all kinds of . . . . 'things' in the foreground, I would make sure to select my focus point rather than letting the camera select it for me. That way, I know where the camera will focus and can compose the shot with that in mind. If you leave it to chance, the camera will be more likely to key in on a branch, rock or tire (or pinatas - lol) in the foreground (or sometimes in the BG) as it possibly did in several of your shots (possibly shots 2, 5, 6, 7, 8 & 9). The sensors look for elements that 'contrast' each other to lock in the focus.

    In the first shot, the flower was obviously the 'subject' of the shot, but with a rider being the main subject of the shot (as I interpret most of your shots to be), it's usually all about the eyes/faces being sharp and the rest will fall where it may depending on your settings.

    2) The time of day was not in your favor, especially if trying to keep shadows off of faces. You're essentially painting with light and the magic doesn't generally happen consistently by accident. The light in the middle of the day is bright and harsh, and it casts shadows more or less straight down. This is less than ideal compared to shooting earlier or later in the day.

    The question of "where is my light (the sun in this case) coming from?" is one of the first things I consider when trying to set up places to shoot.

    3) On the plus side, I think you found (on some of these) somewhat interesting places and angles to shoot from, and this is not something to take lightly. You can't find an eye for composition for sale on the BH Photo website. I think you'll start to get technically better results once you get to know your gear better and use it to your advantage.

    On that note, I am curious what settings you were using?

    Shooting Mode (Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority, Manual, etc.):

    ISO:

    Shutter Speed:

    Auto Focus Mode:

    Focus Point(s):

    Any custom 'Parameters':

    4) The cropping on some of the shots is not what I would have chosen. It looks to me (not that I have actually measured these) like you may have used the same, or a very similar) crop ratio for all of these shots. If the crop ratio is a primary constraint for you, that will mean you have to compromise on what is and what is not included in your final crop. For instance, having the bottom of the bike lopped off in the second pic is not a crop I would have chosen. OR, if you're not cropping at all, I would consider it for shots you offer for C&C.

    Regards,
    Jeff

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigworm520 View Post


    Not having the best of luck lighting up faces when the helmet casts a shadow.


    So C&C away if you please I will only cry at home in private so you won't have to feel bad.
    Get a speedlight to "fill" in shadows. The on-board flash doesn't give you the power you need outside of about 5 feet.

  15. #15
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    Yeah I have a recently gotten a SL and have been playing around with it during the day. Just something more to carry and possible break on a ride so haven't taken it yet. Had a good fall the other day in Sedona trying to ride up some slanted rocks. Landed right on by back and camera. I never land like that but sure enough I did this time. Camera was ok and I got back up and rode it on the second try.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffj View Post
    Please keep in mind that while I have enjoyed looking at these, this is C&C requested by the OP and meant to be taken as such, and therefore I am more or less picking fly poop out of the pepper :~)

    1) I can't tell for sure if you have or not, but with all kinds of . . . . 'things' in the foreground, I would make sure to select my focus point rather than letting the camera select it for me. That way, I know where the camera will focus and can compose the shot with that in mind. If you leave it to chance, the camera will be more likely to key in on a branch, rock or tire (or pinatas - lol) in the foreground (or sometimes in the BG) as it possibly did in several of your shots (possibly shots 2, 5, 6, 7, 8 & 9). The sensors look for elements that 'contrast' each other to lock in the focus.

    In the first shot, the flower was obviously the 'subject' of the shot, but with a rider being the main subject of the shot (as I interpret most of your shots to be), it's usually all about the eyes/faces being sharp and the rest will fall where it may depending on your settings.

    2) The time of day was not in your favor, especially if trying to keep shadows off of faces. You're essentially painting with light and the magic doesn't generally happen consistently by accident. The light in the middle of the day is bright and harsh, and it casts shadows more or less straight down. This is less than ideal compared to shooting earlier or later in the day.

    The question of "where is my light (the sun in this case) coming from?" is one of the first things I consider when trying to set up places to shoot.

    3) On the plus side, I think you found (on some of these) somewhat interesting places and angles to shoot from, and this is not something to take lightly. You can't find an eye for composition for sale on the BH Photo website. I think you'll start to get technically better results once you get to know your gear better and use it to your advantage.

    On that note, I am curious what settings you were using?

    Shooting Mode (Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority, Manual, etc.):

    ISO:

    Shutter Speed:

    Auto Focus Mode:

    Focus Point(s):

    Any custom 'Parameters':

    4) The cropping on some of the shots is not what I would have chosen. It looks to me (not that I have actually measured these) like you may have used the same, or a very similar) crop ratio for all of these shots. If the crop ratio is a primary constraint for you, that will mean you have to compromise on what is and what is not included in your final crop. For instance, having the bottom of the bike lopped off in the second pic is not a crop I would have chosen. OR, if you're not cropping at all, I would consider it for shots you offer for C&C.

    Regards,
    Jeff
    Thanks Jeff. The cropping thing was not actually a crop in editing. The issue was I was using my fixed 35mm lens so I was not positioning myself in the right spots on some of those. All of them I was using ISO 200 & F/4. Speeds were running around 1/1600 to 1/1250. I am forcing myself to shoot only in manual so that I can learn how everything affects each other better. Auto focus mode was on multiple points.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigworm520 View Post
    Thanks Jeff. The cropping thing was not actually a crop in editing. The issue was I was using my fixed 35mm lens so I was not positioning myself in the right spots on some of those. All of them I was using ISO 200 & F/4. Speeds were running around 1/1600 to 1/1250. I am forcing myself to shoot only in manual so that I can learn how everything affects each other better. Auto focus mode was on multiple points.
    Yeah, 'sneaker zoom' is not easy when you're scrambling around on rocks

    If you were at ISO 200 and still getting 1/1600th to 1/1250th, I would knock the ISO down to ISO 100 and be quite happy half that shutter speed so long as you're above 1/600th or even 1/500th for action shots.

    If you're just playing around getting to know your rig and want to see what everything does to everything else, shooting manual will let you see it. If I were shooting in in that situation, I would likely use aperture priority so I could control the aperture (keep it where I want it), and use the lowest ISO I could to keep still keep the shutter speed in the 1/600th to 1/1000th (+/-) range.

    I would also go to centerpoint focus and look to focus on the riders chin or chest, or maybe a different focus point if shooting in portrait orientation.

    I'm not a Nikon guy, so I am not intimately familiar with the latest Nikon features that affect how your specific camera controls the AF, but I would encourage you to dive in and learn it intimately as those settings can make or brake a day of shooting. A setting that has the AF track the subject once you half press the shutter helps keep riders coming toward you in focus. Or, you may want a setting the would allow you to half press to focus on a subject that you ultimately don't want centered, and then recompose before releasing the shutter. Two different settings with two different outcomes.

    Shooting in Manual would explain the exposure issue with the second shot. Over all, you did pretty well managing the exposure, but shooting in AF-A (aperture priority) or AF-S (shutter priority) will still give you control over whichever is most important to you, but will usually be more consistent at controlling exposure. Even a slight up or down adjustment to composition can throw your settings off in Manual, so it can take a lot of thought to shoot that way.

  18. #18
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    Nice shots. I struggle with the fill flash issue. I don't want to compromise my ride too much by bringing too much gear. When you don't have a fill flash, it's nice to get some sun on the rider's face, which limits shooting angles. I'll often brighten up faces in post processing but you've got to be careful so that they look natural.

    The more you shoot with a fixed lens, the more you'll get used to where you have to position yourself to get the shot you want. I'm still not used to my 20mm lens and sometimes position myself too far away from the subject because I have more experience with my 50mm lens. On the other hand sometimes I find that the limitation of a fixed lens forces compositions that I wouldn't have done otherwise and that I like.

    I have a Nikon D7000 and use a weighted spot focus mode (not sure the correct term for this). I move the focal point a lot, depending on the composition I'm going for. I locate the focal point where I expect the person's face to be. I also use continuous focusing so I can shoot 4-5 photos of the person as they go by me. Then, I choose the best photo of them. My lenses aren't the fastest focusing, so I pre-focus at the distance I expect to start shooting to eliminate the lens from 'hunting' which causes me to miss the whole sequence.

    With the bright light you have (I often shoot under the tree canopy), I'd shoot around f8 unless you are going for a shallow depth-of-field. At 25-50mm, I'll shoot around 1/200th if I can and I rarely can get up to f8 (I often have to bump my ISO up to 1250 or 1600). Again, I shoot in much lower light than you do. I still have a ton to learn but thought I'd give you some ideas to try.

    It's really tough to get a shot that captures the difficulty of the trail. Others have mentioned getting down low and I think that helps in a lot of cases. This bridge shot my husband took of me is the most dramatic shot on that bridge so far because of his shooting location: DSC_10488ps 800h.jpg photo - j_harvey photos at pbase.com. As a contrast, here's a less dramatic photo I took of my husband on the same bridge: DSC_10497ps 850h.jpg photo - j_harvey photos at pbase.com.

  19. #19
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    Your shot with the flower was not an out of focus issue but a depth of field shot with your F-stop being wide open. By the way, that blurred (bokeh) out rider made the shot.. If you are looking to increase the depth of field and create a larger in focus area then close down your F-Stop to F11 and that will also reduce the amount of light that is getting into the lens and on bright days it will help reduce over exposing. As far as the facial shadows that is an easy fix. Preferrably shoot in raw format or at least high quality jpeg and go back to photoshop and use your shadows slider and that will give you a clear view of the face. You may need increase the contrast a little.

  20. #20
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    I really like the first one. The flower is in good sharp focus and the bokeh is great yet, the rider and trail still very recognizable for what they are. I, too, carry my dslr (5D) on many rides. Recently got a couple of pancake lenses (Voigtlander 40 f2 and Olympus 21 f3.5) which make for a nice compact trail kit.

  21. #21
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    A tip that I don't think a lot of people know about:
    If you're out in the sun, try to keep your camera shooting at the base ISO. This is the lowest "normal" ISO, not the lowest "boost" ISO.

    I'm not sure if the D3100 has a boost ISO lower than the base ISO, but my D90 does, for example. It's base ISO is 200, but it goes down to 100. Nikon labels this as "ISO L1.0" or something like that.

    The reason is that the image sensor has the most dynamic range at its base ISO. Anything higher or lower than the base ISO has less dynamic range. Dynamic range is hardly mentioned in camera specs, but it's really important when shooting in the sun, because there is a big difference in light levels between direct sunlit areas and shadows.

    Since you're shooting with the 35 f/1.8, you shouldn't have too much of a problem with keeping it at the base ISO and having a fast shutter speed, but if you're having to shoot at wide apertures, focusing gets harder from the reduced depth of field.

    Also, shooting in RAW usually gives one more dynamic range to work with in post processing.

    Oh, and jeffj, AF-A and AF-S are used by Nikon to indicate the autofocus mode. AF-A (auto) is basically single focus mode, but it will refocus if the subject moves enough. The camera won't release the shutter if it doesn't have focus. AF-S is single mode, where it focuses once for each half press of the button and leaves it there. Finally, AF-C is continuous mode, where it continuously focuses and will release the shutter even if it doesn't have focus.

    Nikon also uses AF-S to designate lenses with internal focus motors. All of Nikon's internal focus motors are ultrasonic motors, unlike Canon which only uses internal motors for the EF mount, but they can either be the noisy DC micromotors, or the quiet ultrasonic motors. The Nikon AF lenses have autofocus driven by the camera's internal focus motor.

    For the exposure modes, Nikon just uses "S" for shutter priority (Tv in Canon terms) and "A" for aperture priority (Av).
    Last edited by Kanik; 06-13-2012 at 01:03 PM.

  22. #22
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    Using base ISO is a good idea. But the dynamic range for the higher ISO's is not dramatically less then base ISO, at least on the more modern camera's. Once you're getting into ISO1600 and above, dynamic range may become an issue. Below that, shooting in RAW will give you more dynamic range.

    But, I don't understand the desire to shoot in full manual mode. You probably are relying on the exposure meter in the camera, if not, you probably miss a lot of shots due to changing light conditions. So why not using the Av (aperture priority) mode or the Tv (shutter priority) mode. Less stuff to worry about and you get to give the composition more time. Exposure can be adjusted on the camera if you think it's too bright or dark. I always use Av mode, except for when I'm shooting panning shots, then I use the Tv mode.

    About the shots, I think they are great! As already noted, try to keep the complete bike in the frame, especially when there is lots of room on the other side of the frame.

  23. #23
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    Yeah, some people shoot on manual like it's a cool thing, but it's really just for when you can control your lighting and can take your time.
    On some cameras you can keep auto ISO on in manual mode, which is good if you need a specific aperture value and shutter speed. For example, if you want to freeze action and stop down for DOF. You can't really do this in either priority modes, but the camera can still adjust exposure with auto ISO.

    I think the only times I really use manual anymore is when I'm messing around with lenses, like the "turn the lens around" macro trick, or if I happen to be using a non-CPU lens. I did that when I first got my camera and was borrowing a friend's 50mm f/1.8E from the '70s. Nikon's lower end cameras don't meter with non-CPU lenses because the camera doesn't know what lens is on it. They could, as evidenced by the pro cameras having the ability to tell the camera what lens is on it with the menus, but Nikon decided the lower end cameras didn't need that feature.

    It was pretty damn hard to shoot like that, manual focus and manual exposure with no meter. I had to look at the screen after I took the shot. But it sure taught me what settings did what.

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