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Thread: Random Thoughts... [Photographic Edition]

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    is awesome! phuckingduck's Avatar
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    Random Thoughts... [Photographic Edition]

    So, it's about time this sub-forum gets one. Seems like everything but photography and porn has a Random Thoughts. So, here it is. This is for all the crap that doesn't really have a place in Lens Flair, Post your gear, Q&A, etc. Outtakes, BS, simple questions, photonerd talk, even trial and error you wouldn't post elsewhere.
    One rule, all photos posted are open for C/C.

    So I learned something this weekend. I'm learning, still well below many people here in both skill and artistic imagination. But I think I'm getting good at it. But I can't shoot cars at a car show for shit. I love cars. I love cameras. I love photography. Put together? This doesn't work. I can't do figure it out. I don't know how to approach the cars and the shots I do think will work have my big fat reflection right in the middle of them. I just don't get it.
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    Because of parking, son Adunaphel's Avatar
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    Shooting cars at car shows is shit. Lighting is generally various degrees of rubbish, people walking everywhere, impossible to get the right angle because other cars, people or parts of the stall are in the way, etc.

    Oh, and renamed the thread so that people can differentiate it from other Random Thoughts threads when seen out of context.

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    Lexus? Oh shi- Shawn's Avatar
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    Here's something random... a utility truck with it's sirens on got in one of my shots.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Adunaphel View Post
    Shooting cars at car shows is shit. Lighting is generally various degrees of rubbish, people walking everywhere, impossible to get the right angle because other cars, people or parts of the stall are in the way, etc.

    Oh, and renamed the thread so that people can differentiate it from other Random Thoughts threads when seen out of context.
    You should try shooting some pool table carpenters in Damaskus.

    Between offering me seeds to chow, cigarettes, cold tea and calling me "baby", I got a couple of hundered portraits, and perhaps 20-30 pictures of actual work without posing.

    ARRGH!
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    But I can't shoot cars at a car show for shit. I love cars. I love cameras. I love photography. Put together? This doesn't work. I can't do figure it out. I don't know how to approach the cars and the shots I do think will work have my big fat reflection right in the middle of them. I just don't get it.
    I think your problem is that, as you've said yourself, you can't figure it out. IMHO, you'll always get better pictures if you have some idea in your head of what you want to get. You don't need better photography skills-you already have those, you need "thinking" skills (not trying to be offensive, just making a suggestion.)

    Have you thought about what kind of shots you want to take before you go to the car show to take them?

    Last year, I shot a British car show for the first time and I had a hard time too. I had never really shot cars before at all. Out of the 2 hours or so I spent "shooting" over 30 minutes was spent "thinking." In the end, I wound up shooting telephoto (100mm macro) and shooting the cars as sort of "graphical elements" the way a graphical designer would. I came to that after several "false starts" though-tried a few things, didn't work, thought some more about it, "damn it! That's not working, let me try this instead..." eventually my head figured it out and then my hands just did it.

    Just a suggestion but maybe try to think about the way you want the cars at the car show to look in your head, and refine the idea in your mind before you pick up the camera. (Works for me anyway.)

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    car show shooting sucks, either your lens isn't wide enough or there are too many odd reflections or the lighting is too low and your flash don't do bupkis. I can grab great track shots, pit shots and 200 kph panning but haven't had one good car show shot. I just give up on that stuff. I've got lots of other opportunities to shoot the cars when they get to the track.

    I'm lucky enough to have access to almost anything that can be found in NA from Enzos and MC12 to Carrera GTs and GT2s.

    Duck, just like CarolsLittleWorld said, your skills are there (I've seen your lens flair stuff) but looking at light and thinking about the shot are always hard to get. Practice helps, lots of practice.

    This is a random shot from a trackday. The car was just driving away and I though ok that could be cool. C&C please. I know it isn't well focused , I just sort of spun the camera and shot without really thinking.


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    Have you been high today? Ramseus's Avatar
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    Shawn that's pretty cool, it looks like something out of F-Zero

    Also, what do you guys recommend for sensor cleaning? I had my camera open last night fixing it (more on that when I can be bothered to download the photos, which are obviously taken with a different camera) so the sensor has a bagillion dust particles on it. I'll be going down to the camera shop later today.
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    I agree that shooting car shows sucks ass. The vast majority of my keepers are close-up shots where no one can get into the picture
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    Got myself a marumi D35AF flash for my canon (cheap "substitute" for speedlite) will be posting opinions here when i have more testing done...
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    I'm really annoyed that this spot is a nearly perfect background for car photos, but it faces south so the lighting pretty much sucks all day. Any ideas when would be a good time to try and get this picture so it has decent lighting? These were taken at about 7PM. I'm also having trouble deciding how to use the polarizing filter- I either get a nice blue sky with dark colors on the car, or a bright washed out sky with reflections and brighter color on the car. I guess I could always turn the car around for optimum lighting and photoshop that onto a blank picture of the background, but that doesn't seem as appealing. I may just have to do the photoshopping since this car is a bright metallic green, and I just can't get the color to come out from these angles. Both of these are straight from the camera, only resized.


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    Have you been high today? Ramseus's Avatar
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    It's just a coincidence that this thread should come up when I have a photographic random thought probably not worth its own thread.

    So while I'm busy being too poor to afford me a new DSLR (new as in the camera itself being new, and I don't have any SLR to begin with) I decided to find an old kicker that I can modify and such later when I have a shiny new SLR. So off I went to the internet and I got an old 300D (rebel nomenclature is annoying and I choose to use the logical naming scheme) with busted auto focus. Turns out there's a fatal design flaw in the 300D: Canon decided to use a plastic pin in the mirror box to flip the sub mirror into the main mirror - the same system they used on older entry level film SLRs. Well, wouldn't you know it, digital cameras get far more use and that plastic pin doesn't hold up over time, ~10K actions and it breaks (my camera's around IMG_8000, so I don't know if that's 8000 or 18000 pictures taken). I love to fix things and make things and such, so this little repair sounded like a fun little project on a camera that is otherwise perfectly fine if a little scuffed up (hey, I'll take a deal when I get one).

    So, on with the show. I didn't take too many pictures because I wasn't trying to document everything I did, just felt like preserving some of what I did. For an in depth documentation of the process with super duper macro shots, look to this guide. I'll be linking to pictures from that guide to clarify what I'm talking about. I took the effort to "save for web" the pictures, so they should be half the file size that they normally would.


    For posterity, the camera before I potentially destroy it (as a side note, I love IS; picture taken with the trusty old Powershot S3 IS with a 1/4 sutter speed)


    Ok, I've got my tools out, camera ready to go, let's do this! (not pictured: "dammit, I need a needle and a paper clip, brb.... k, back, let's rock")


    The back came off easily, just a few screws and a ribbon for the info lcd. I didn't understand how to disconnect the ribbon at first, but then I got it, just pry the plastic clamp up with a finger and gently pull the ribbon - plyers work fine for ribbon removal as long as you're gentle.


    Front cover was a bit harder to do. The screws in the battery compartment were a bitch. My screwdrivers weren't quite long enough and the plastic handle was getting in the way so I ended up filing the plastic down - oops, wrong screwdriver, have to file down the right sized one... k, got it this time. Also visible is the growing collection of screws (looks like 2 rows, is actually 1 - lolblur).


    And the top cover is now dangling by wires and the flash circuit board has been removed. The hardest part of the whole repair/(dis)assembly was that retarded flash board, wriggling it out must have taken twenty minutes of massive frustration and electrical shocks from the huge capacitor, which was the whole reason why it was so hard to get out in the first place.


    Ok, let's see. I remove the broken plastic pin and stick a paper clip in the hole. Wait a second, why the hell does the mirror get jammed up when I try flipping it with my finger? *cue a while of wtf wtf wtf wtf wtf... google* Ok so the camera wasn't having the 75% black problem of the sub mirror staying down when you take a picture, so that must mean... ok, well the sub mirror seems stuck to the main mirror... I look for a way to pry it off, find a little sticky outy bit on the bottom and with a little pressure it comes free. WHAT!? The dumbass previous owner glued the sub mirror to the main mirror! Look at the glue residue for yourself!


    Well that solves that problem. Stick paper clip in hole, mirrors flip like they should. Good. Bend, cut, glue. Repair complete. Now just have to wait for it to dry, make sure it holds up, then reassemble.


    The final collection of screws and a couple brackets.


    And the clutter I eventually amassed.


    One note: Putting that damn flash board back in was down right impossible so I looked for something else to detatch to make it more doable. Going back in it wasn't so much the circuit board getting in the way as it was something stuck on the bottom of the board. The board is restricted by wires going to the top cover and flash, but mostly by a bunch of ribbons with one bit attached to the board (ribbons clearly visible in this picture). One part of the the ribbon goes around back near the viewfinder, this is the pivot point holding the rest of it back. I unscrewed a bracket holding it in place and found out that this ribbon wasn't attached to anything, it just has a chip and wants to be out of the way. Freeing this allowed me to move the board further away from the metal chassis and slide it in (or slide it downwards if the camera was oriented normally).

    bonus pictures:


    So, if anyone's looking for a cheap camera to modify or whatever, and if you don't have useless arthritic sausage fingers, a 300d with broken auto-focus is a good investment. I got mine off ebay without any opposing bids because who the hell wants a camera that doesn't auto focus, right? For a cheap old camera, IMO it's a better investment than a 10D since it has the same sensor, lots of the same parts, and features "only" on the 10D that are unlockable with hacked firmware.

    /probably just did more work on a camera on the first day of possessing an slr than most of you have/will ever do yourself.

    So what's next? The removal of the IR blocker. I still don't know what I'm going to do overall, so that's the tricky bit. Ideally I want just clear glass on the sensor and interchangeable ir blocker/visible blocker/nothing. I don't know about my strategy for doing this yet, but I sure as dick don't want to spend $150+ on lens filters.
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    Because of parking, son Adunaphel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nabster View Post
    I'm really annoyed that this spot is a nearly perfect background for car photos, but it faces south so the lighting pretty much sucks all day. Any ideas when would be a good time to try and get this picture so it has decent lighting? These were taken at about 7PM. I'm also having trouble deciding how to use the polarizing filter- I either get a nice blue sky with dark colors on the car, or a bright washed out sky with reflections and brighter color on the car. I guess I could always turn the car around for optimum lighting and photoshop that onto a blank picture of the background, but that doesn't seem as appealing. I may just have to do the photoshopping since this car is a bright metallic green, and I just can't get the color to come out from these angles. Both of these are straight from the camera, only resized.
    Try just after sunrise, when the light is coming from the other side, illuminating the side of the car that you see. In both shots you posted i like the lighting tho, it really accentuates that car's lines. But having the visible side illuminated instead of hidden in the shadow would make them much better.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Adunaphel View Post
    Shooting cars at car shows is shit. Lighting is generally various degrees of rubbish, people walking everywhere, impossible to get the right angle because other cars, people or parts of the stall are in the way, etc.
    I tend to agree.



    I don't know those people in the background and I never will. Why do they have to be in my photo?!

    And that stupid fence thingy that they put up in front of the tastiest cars ruins everything.

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    Lighting is a hard thing to deal with. So I fake it:



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    ^ Details please
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeVeL View Post
    ^ Details please
    Well, it would be a lot of details. Took a few hours in photoshop.

    A few simple things though.

    I copied the bricks from the left side over to the right side. Fixing that over exposed section would be impossible. That is that hard part.

    The easy part is just playing with the levels/colors/saturation/contrast. I just mess with those setting until it looks "right".

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    Quote Originally Posted by Austere View Post
    I tend to agree.



    I don't know those people in the background and I never will. Why do they have to be in my photo?!

    And that stupid fence thingy that they put up in front of the tastiest cars ruins everything.
    I'd tend to disagree, It's what you make of it really ...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nabster View Post
    I'm really annoyed that this spot is a nearly perfect background for car photos,
    The hazard signs ruins the spot compleatly.

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    This is just quite simply amazing.

    It's photos taken by Russian photographer Sergey Mikhaylovich Prokudin-Gorsky in 1909. They are taken with a process involving colored filters and exposing three frames of film, then combining them with colored light or something. It is quite simply amazingly good. The quality is amazing, the colors are wonderful, and Prokudin-Gorsky was truely good with his camera.

    Man, this, I love.
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    Hormone Induced BerserkerCatSplat's Avatar
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    Yep, you can do full-color prints with black-and-white film. You take 3 exposures, one through each dichro-matched filter, and then do the photo print with a 3-layer enlargement. I've seen it done before on the LF forums, it's genius stuff .
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