The Great Photography Challenge Debriefing

I thought the idea of the winners sharing their equipment and settings was a great idea, but I’d go as far as to say it might be good to see some of the ‘outtakes’ and just get a general sense of how everyone arrived at the photos they did.

Here are all the shots I took for the various challenges (updates following each day’s challenge): Photography Challenge ‘Rolls’

My equipment is:

  • Canon Eos Digital Rebel XT
  • Kit lens (EF-S 18-55mm 1:3.5-5.6)
  • Joby Gorillapod SLR flexible tripod
  • Satechi WR-C100 Wireless Remote Control

As far as software for any editing I use the Gimp (mostly because I like the price of free software, but I also haven’t had any problems with it. For organizing pictures I use Picasa, and also Gallery 2 (web application).

I’d love to hear what and how everyone else does their work regardless of their success in the challenge.

My camera is a Canon EOS Digital Rebel with a wide angle lens that I love to use. The lens is: Canon Zoom Lens EF-S 18 - 55 mm 1:3.5 - 5.6. (KamiQuasi has the same :D)

I shoot raw mostly indoors to be able to set the white point, outdoors it is mostly on automatic. If I can I use natural light for closeups. I found that the sunlight in the early morning or the late afternoon is the best light. I also love when the sky is overcast for detail shots, the shadows are not so very black then.

After I download the photos with my Canon File Viewer Utility into Photoshop Elements I discard the images that do not live up to the standards that I have set. I do not burden myself with half good images. Often I am left with only one or two decent photos out of the bunch. I then work these over in PSE.

Since I use the wide angle lens any long horizon line appears as a bowl, so I have to eliminate that by carefully using the stamp tool to get a straight line and a look that is real. I straighten lines that need to be adjusted using the Skew or Distort tool. I also use Enhance>Adjust Lighting> Shadows/Highlights… and after that Unsharp Mask.

In rare cases I select out elements that need to stand out more with a 50 to 100 px feather and pull them out into more light and more contrast, revert the selection and diminish contrast to the rest of the image. That focuses the eye on the main subject matter. I also give more saturation to the main object and less to the support part of the image.

I am a painter and look at all images from that angle: how would I paint this and what should the focus of this work be. I frame every shot carefully, always looking at the image as a canvas that needs balance and flow. Often I set up the image so objects point inward towards the subject at hand to guide the eye toward it. If I can not get it, I move on and try another angle. I have gone out and came back with nothing, but tried again under different conditions.

I have not kept any of the extra shots for the previous days but will do so for the next days to show what I do :slight_smile:

I have an old Olympus Camedia D-340R 1.3Mpx
5.5mm F2.8, 5 elem. in 4 grps. = 36mm
auto-exposure F2.8, F5.6, F11 ~ 1/2 - 1/500 sec. (no manual)

It came with Adobe PhotoDeluxe HE 3.0 which I use to transfer images to my computer (JPEG only). I’ve just started experimenting with Irfan and ImageMagick, but I’ve had some recent “urgencies” that interupted my learning progress with them, so for the competition I resorted to using my old apps, Micrografx Picture Perfect Pub 8 and PhotoRecall Darkroom to do adjustments.

The bus was my first attempt at panning. Easy enough to set focal distance on a car stopped for the traffic light (lol, who knows what they thought) where I hoped the bus would be when I snapped it. Not so easy to time the snap on a moving subject so it would be where I wanted it to be when I snapped. Only adjusment was cropping/resizing.

The statue was in front of a grave stone that I didn’t want in the shot. And the side I wanted meant the steeple was behind it. I set my flash, but I guess the batteries failed so I had to make some adjusments to tonal range too. Lightened up the darks (mostly) and darkened up the brights (a wee bit). To get close I had to take it in portrait orientation. which meant I had to rotate it, which I would have needed to do anyway to get the verticals straight. Then cropped/resized.

Well, now that the contest is cut short, I can not show what I wanted to show with the next two assignments. I am disappointed about that.

Hi!!! for the photo challenge I used my Leica D-Lux 2 and for the edition I used pickic

Thanks for starting this thread KamiQuasi and great idea to take it further and have people post all of their pics leading up to the one they submitted. After I posted that idea I realized I’d actually like to learn more about everyone’s photos not just the winners, so glad you mentioned that.

Here’s a link to my album with all the outtakes:

I saved the pics as a little lower quality jpg so the files wouldn’t be so huge.

My equipment:
Canon EOS Rebel XS
18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS lens

Adobe Photoshop CS4

I bought this camera a little over a year ago because I wanted a nicer camera. I really like taking photos but the only training I’ve had was one photography class back in high school. That was about 17 years ago. So I’m a total novice at this and it’s just a side thing right now. But maybe if I can get better at it eventually I could do more photography and add that to my web site building skills.

So if anyone who has more experience with photography wants to give me any tips and critique any of my photos I’d like to hear it. I just want to learn as much as I can.