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Thread: A Photo-Ref Thread

  1. #14
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    Kamber- I'm using a Sigma 70-300 with macro and ancient Canon EOS 300D, the first in the "digital rebel" line.

    Psychotime- Wheelbugs aren't aggressive to humans. They're predators and hunt other insects. They will bite if threatened, though, and their bite is very painful- much worse than a hornet sting, in my opinion. Nothing compared to the cottonmouth in my next-to-last photo, though- those suckers will cost you some flesh. They're not aggressive either, fortunately.
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  4. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by kev ferrara View Post
    * * *

    honest integration of facts

    * * *

    When using reference never let it interfere with your daydreams... do not let the facts you find behind a camera lure you into being a reporter if you plan on being an artist. Reference is there to provide some facts to ground the transcendent truth you are trying to express, the transcendent truth your imagination has synthesized into a vision and presented to your consciousness (for expression through art.)

    A prerequisite for using reference to assist your imagination is; you must be able to visualize your art in your imagination. (To the greatest extent possible.)
    Kev: I think that this is what I'm "shooting for."

    The following picture isn't all that great in and of itself, and slavishly copying it in watercolor wouldn't really make for "art." But, it has taught me something about how a robin lands on a tree branch. . .

    A Photo-Ref Thread
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  6. #16
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    Anyway. . .

    a call out to dpaint:

    How 'bout "white balance" re landscape photos?

    I know that "warm lights produce cool shadows."

    How do you deal with this fact in your photo-reffing?

    Does the photographer's compensation for white balance screw over the photo-reffing artist's search for truth?
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  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kamber Parrk View Post
    As a potential topic starter, I'm considering purchasing Canon's 70mm/200mm (non-IS) zoom which is considered to be a pretty dang good lens for the money beyond the issue "kit lens" that comes with the camera.
    The 70-200 is very nice and will kill the kit lens, but just about anything is better than the kit lens . BTW, my wife uses a 100-400 IS for nature, and some of the more timid wildlife can still be a challenge. She ends up cropping most of her nature shots.
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  9. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cider View Post
    The 70-200 is very nice and will kill the kit lens, but just about anything is better than the kit lens . BTW, my wife uses a 100-400 IS for nature, and some of the more timid wildlife can still be a challenge. She ends up cropping most of her nature shots.
    I'm guessing that's a pretty pricey lens, given IS, I'm still trying to get my head around the "crop factor."

    In the old days of film, you could enlarge/blowup an image. With digital, I'm finding that the "blowup" is a given-- thus, the 55mm end of my kit lens is actually the "equivalent" of a short 85mm telephoto-- though, there is controversy on this characterization and purists would, likely, whack me over the head for sayin' so!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kamber Parrk View Post
    I'm guessing that's a pretty pricey lens, given IS, I'm still trying to get my head around the "crop factor."

    In the old days of film, you could enlarge/blowup an image. With digital, I'm finding that the "blowup" is a given-- thus, the 55mm end of my kit lens is actually the "equivalent" of a short 85mm telephoto-- though, there is controversy on this characterization and purists would, likely, whack me over the head for sayin' so!
    I'm not a camera guy, but even I can see the difference with a nice lens. Glass seems to be more important than the body.

    My wife uses a full-frame camera, and I grabbed a random shot that she actually took just yesterday. The metadata says it was at 400mm ISO200 and f6.3. The first is just the raw image, and the second shot I cropped myself.
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  12. #20
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    Hey Cider:

    The cropping on your wife's Owl Pic is consistent with the image quality on my (above) Robin pic.

    Indeed, even though my TC3 is "entry level"-- I can still attach some impressive glass to it.

    What a World we live in!
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  13. #21
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    I keep telling myself that I'll add something to this thread, but I just never bothered.

    Here's a few pics near the Savannah river, which is where most tourists go. I took these on my cheap little camera (Kodak C813) for SOMETHING a year or two ago, but I can't remember what.

    A Photo-Ref Thread
    A Photo-Ref Thread
    A Photo-Ref Thread
    Last edited by Psychotime; May 12th, 2012 at 02:09 AM.
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  14. #22
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    I use a Pentax 2100. However, for me, I only use the photo-ref for composition of the objects. Since I do plein air paintings, I tend to use the colors that I see in my paintings, rather than the colors in the photo (This is the same with the values and the colors in the shadows).

    A trick that I read was that you take several images of the scene (over-exposed, under-exposed and normal). That way you get what's in the shadows and the bright areas.

    However, if possible, better to use the photos for ideas and learn to paint outside or from life.
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  15. #23
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    Yay, photography!

    I would highly suggest going through a few pages similar to this about lenses, the types, their effects, so on and so forth. Having an idea about teleconverters and possible vignetting, or the perspective distortion on a sub 35mm focal length, as well as f stops and proper shutter speed selection will save you some massive headaches and confusion.

    Kamber, are you referring to a 50mm film lens being placed on a digital slr, resulting in a 75-85mm lens? That's due to the crop factor. The imaging area on film cameras are about 1.5 times the size of that on digital cameras. Because of that, digital cameras don't capture all of the incoming light, and can also end up having issues with perspective, blurring, and other stuff.

    I would offer a few quick suggestions:
    -If you want to capture what you see, 50mm. That's the closest to human field of vision without distortion and is the de facto street shot.
    -Want to capture a wide scene of what you see? Wide angled shots down to 18mm or less. However, want to capture a wide scene of what you see without perspective distortion? Multiple 50mm shots that are later stitched together.
    -Try and stay below 800 ISO to avoid extra image noise caused by photonic sensitivity.
    -Aperture (f-stop) settings: 4 and below are great for portrait shots or creating depth of field on nearby objects. Moving to higher aperture numbers (or further distances), negates depth of field. You can definitely use the lower f stop numbers to capture entire scenes in low light without depth of field (by focusing way the hell out there), but they could have a certain glowing blurriness to them.
    -Don't drop below 1/60 for shutter speed without a monopod or tripod. After that, you will have motion blur. The human body really can't hold a camera perfectly still for longer than that.
    -Try to get as close to your subject as possible to avoid cropping your image. The more you crop, the more information you lose, the less of a print size you can make out of it without graininess.
    Last edited by rishenko; May 12th, 2012 at 08:12 AM.
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  16. #24
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    If you're considering an "L" lens, I highly recommend going for it. L glass is the reason I switched to Canon. HOWEVER, you won't really reap the benefits of good glass until you can take better pictures. That is another story and another pursuit all together ;-). Good luck and enjoy.
    It took me like three hours to finish the shading on your upper lip. It's probably the best drawing I've ever done.



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  17. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kamber Parrk View Post
    Anyway. . .

    a call out to dpaint:

    How 'bout "white balance" re landscape photos?

    I know that "warm lights produce cool shadows."

    How do you deal with this fact in your photo-reffing?

    Does the photographer's compensation for white balance screw over the photo-reffing artist's search for truth?
    Sorry I just saw this. I mostly use my photos for shapes and details. I rely on my own knowledge, intuition, notes and sketches for color and value.
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  18. #26
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    dpaint: thanks for the reply-- it's insightful coming from you! (I vaguely remember a North Light book on watercolor that went into excruciating detail re this. BUT, your reply may well put this in more practical perspective!)

    J@nit: I'm 90% committed to buying the Canon 70-200mm "L" lense. My skill level is marginal, having learned bare bones 35mm SLR film shootin' with my old Konica platform. It's really really marginal for real wildlife shooting. But, with my access to reasonably tame suburban wildlife and my membership to Seattle's Woodland Park Zoo, I think 200mm might actually open up a new world-- though, the $700 price tag gives me pause!

    rishenko: darn good advice, overall! (I've been considering the 55mm "end" of my kit lens to be, more or less, commensurate with the 50mm human eyeball standard for much of the ref photos I been shootin' lately.)

    Doug Hoppes: I'm thinkin' your counsel tracks what dpaint's sayin'! Thanks, seems like you're in good company!

    Psychotime: Excellent! Thank ye fer the input.

    Anyway. . .

    Hope everyone can keep this thread going! Photoref IS vital for art of all shades. And, hope all of you in the know can keep adding to the the knowledge base of this thread that, hopefully, will become a resource far in extant of my idle musings. . .
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