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I want criticism so I can develop my photography skills

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    (Original post by LittleMissNoface)
    Yea, With the camera I borrowed from my school it also saved nef files along with the jpeg files and I think that I am meant to use the nef file? I don't know how to, if i am suppose to.
    So I ended up just using the jpeg files. is this bad?
    the camera was a nikon.
    JPEG files are ok, but the problem with them is every change you make degrades the quality ... so I'm thinking you processed them and, in doing so, lost some of the colour information.

    NEF files are what Nikon call their raw files. A raw file (you may also see people call it a RAW, capitalise it; it's not a format in itself, it doesn't need capitalisation) is basically a digital negative. What happens when you take a photo in JPEG format is the camera takes a raw photo, but then does some of its own processing, discards some of the information and gives you a JPEG. For a lot of people, JPEGs are fine, they often end up decent enough. But if you're going to be doing some processing to it, especially arty things like this, you ideally want to work with the raw files. The raw files keep all of the information, so you are choosing what to use and what to get rid of in the processing. They also don't degrade as you change them, they retain their quality.

    The first issue to address: you don't know how to work with raw. That's fine, it's not inate knowledge, anyone that does use them learnt how to. I like to use Adobe Lightroom to process my raws; it is quite expensive, but bear in mind either a) you're a student so it'll be a lot cheaper for you and b) if you only need it for a short while, you can download a trial version from Adobe for 30 days. As for learning how to use it: Scott Kelby, The Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3 Book for Digital Photographers - it is for Lightroom 3 and the trial available is Lightroom 4; from what I've read and seen, the changes are mostly in the organising system, not the processing system which you are interested in. Kelby's book is fantastic, but make sure you're sitting at the computer and going through it rather than reading away from the computer. It's mainly chapter 4 you'd want - Editing Essentials.

    You may be wondering why you should use raw instead of JPEG, so I quickly knocked up this example for you. It is of a flower; I have chosen this photo because I took it to trial a lens and I will never use it for anything else.

    This is the JPEG my camera decided to produce:
    Spoiler:
    Show


    This is the black and white conversion from that JPEG:
    Spoiler:
    Show


    This is the colour processing I did on the raw file:
    Spoiler:
    Show


    This is the black and white conversion I did after colour processing the raw file:
    Spoiler:
    Show


    This is when I converted the raw to black and white and then processed:
    Spoiler:
    Show


    I always shoot in colour and then convert to black and white if I want to have it as black and white. I also convert and then process, not process it as a colour and then convert.
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    Hi,
    First of all thank you for posting your pictures here. I have never seen the combination of what I would describe as cubism and photography and so it's quite an interesting artform that you've developed here. I'd look now to focus on what you're trying to achieve with these photographs and the poses of the model with regards to achieving these aims. Are you trying to create disturbing looks? Are you trying to create a cubist feel? Are you trying to examine various poses and their effect on the picture? Whatever you are trying to achieve you need to incorporate the poses into this aim. The choice of black and white photography works well here as does the varying amounts of light and and stark borders between the various parts of the picture.

    Some good work, but you need to decide what you want to achieve. I like the disturbing and contorted look of some of the pictures.

    I look forward to seeing your future work,

    toronto353
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    (Original post by Radekal)
    I find a few of them really disturbing. Is that weird? Or was that the aim?
    Agreed. Artsy stuff always leaves me a little freaked.

    <3 x
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    (Original post by TheSownRose)
    JPEG files are ok, but the problem with them is every change you make degrades the quality ... so I'm thinking you processed them and, in doing so, lost some of the colour information.

    NEF files are what Nikon call their raw files. A raw file (you may also see people call it a RAW, capitalise it; it's not a format in itself, it doesn't need capitalisation) is basically a digital negative. What happens when you take a photo in JPEG format is the camera takes a raw photo, but then does some of its own processing, discards some of the information and gives you a JPEG. For a lot of people, JPEGs are fine, they often end up decent enough. But if you're going to be doing some processing to it, especially arty things like this, you ideally want to work with the raw files. The raw files keep all of the information, so you are choosing what to use and what to get rid of in the processing. They also don't degrade as you change them, they retain their quality.

    The first issue to address: you don't know how to work with raw. That's fine, it's not inate knowledge, anyone that does use them learnt how to. I like to use Adobe Lightroom to process my raws; it is quite expensive, but bear in mind either a) you're a student so it'll be a lot cheaper for you and b) if you only need it for a short while, you can download a trial version from Adobe for 30 days. As for learning how to use it: Scott Kelby, The Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3 Book for Digital Photographers - it is for Lightroom 3 and the trial available is Lightroom 4; from what I've read and seen, the changes are mostly in the organising system, not the processing system which you are interested in. Kelby's book is fantastic, but make sure you're sitting at the computer and going through it rather than reading away from the computer. It's mainly chapter 4 you'd want - Editing Essentials.

    You may be wondering why you should use raw instead of JPEG, so I quickly knocked up this example for you. It is of a flower; I have chosen this photo because I took it to trial a lens and I will never use it for anything else.

    This is the JPEG my camera decided to produce:
    Spoiler:
    Show


    This is the black and white conversion from that JPEG:
    Spoiler:
    Show


    This is the colour processing I did on the raw file:
    Spoiler:
    Show


    This is the black and white conversion I did after colour processing the raw file:
    Spoiler:
    Show


    This is when I converted the raw to black and white and then processed:
    Spoiler:
    Show


    I always shoot in colour and then convert to black and white if I want to have it as black and white. I also convert and then process, not process it as a colour and then convert.
    You can definitely tell the difference between those photos, the last black and white one looks oh so much more yummier!
    I had, stupidly, attempted to open the raw files on photoshop which failed~
    I am most surely going to try using the first program and i'll see if school has it too.
    why does it look 'yummier' when processed from colour to black and white?
    thank you so much ^^
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    (Original post by LittleMissNoface)
    You can definitely tell the difference between those photos, the last black and white one looks oh so much more yummier!
    I had, stupidly, attempted to open the raw files on photoshop which failed~
    I am most surely going to try using the first program and i'll see if school has it too.
    why does it look 'yummier' when processed from colour to black and white?
    thank you so much ^^
    It's because black and white processing is all about contrast, which colour processing isn't. I bump up the contrast in my colour photos because more contrast is nice to my eye, but it's not the only factor - the colour balance is important as well; remove all the colour, and you are only working with contrast. Making the light colours pale and bright, and the dark colours saturated and dark, and that's how you make things pop out. That last black and white as a colour photo is horrendous - here it is:

    Spoiler:
    Show


    I've also found some Lightroom tutorials on YouTube; this one is a general guide to editing raw files as black and white photos, but it is on a landscape photo which does have some differences (they'll mention graduated filters; these aren't often relevant in indoors settings.) However, it is still good and he does the same as I do - bump up contrast to extreme levels. Fro Knows Photo are quite good in general; some of their videos are more the guys recording their messing around rather than full on tutorials, but they're enjoyable and you do learn a lot anyway. They also do videos on things like sharpening, which is another part of processing that it might be a good idea to get your head around.

    Some versions of Photoshop can open raw files, so it's not a stupid idea to try. Photoshop CS raw editor is quite nice, I've used it sometimes; however, I do prefer the Lightroom layout. I never got on with raw files in Photoshop Elements.

    EDIT: Or did you mean why is it better to shoot in colour and then process it as a black and white? It all comes back to stopping the camera from choosing what information to discard. Shooting in colour and working with the raw files means you are keeping all of the range information so you can choose what happens to it rather than a primitive processing system deciding what is and isn't important.
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    Not related directly to photography, but several of your poses/ expressions seem contrived, which lessens the impact of the shot

    It's most notable in 'sexgod8', I think
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    (Original post by LittleMissNoface)
    X
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q3Hna5GZQbI

    Might be a good idea to watch that video first, because it shows you how to actually get your photos to Lightroom ... which a lot of people seem to miss out of beginner tutorials, as I have just found out. :lol: At the end, he directs you to his next tutorial on metadata which I don't personally rate as important (although someone is sure to come along and disagree with me); to finish off, you just click on the 'Import' button right in the bottom right corner in that video and it means you can then edit your photos in Lightroom.

    You will see some people that copy them straight from the SD card; I would always recommend getting your photos into a folder on your computer first and then importing them into Lightroom (as in that video), otherwise you end up becoming over-run with photos and duplicates.

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