View Full Version : Nikon D40 - Suggestions for editing with photoshop?

22nd December 2008, 10:49 AM
Hi guys,

Took some photos with my D40. I am an amateur. Comments re photographing technique and suggestions for photoshop editing most welcome

Photos are here: Amaterasu Blog (http://amaterasu-photos.blogspot.com/)

22nd December 2008, 11:55 AM
For the first three, especially the vineyard one, I'd use a much smaller aperture to expand the depth of field. That would remove that "out of focus" feeling that's present even though you've clearly focused on something specific.

For 4 and 5 (sunrise and tree) I think they are just boring photos. (I do a lot of them too :D ) They lack an object of interest.

The flowerpot (6) I like, but it could do with a smidge smaller aperture to bring those close leaves into focus.

For the fence posts (7) I'd like to see the whole line in focus. My eye was drawn along the line, but I was left disappointed when they went out of focus. This photo I'd also shoot from a step backward and crop afterwards. The gap by the posts on the left side is a bit distracting, but I can't tell whether or cropping it out or expanding it would improve it.

For 8, I find it to be a fairly uninteresting photo. Sorry. :D

For 9 (fountain) I really like it. My eye was drawn from the fountain back to the cool looking building. However, I'd also like to see it lit from the front, maybe with a softer light. This might also hide the pond pumps and other stuff in the fountain. It might work better shot at a different time of the day.

10 Wine-barrels. - I don't know. That's not really a type of photo I can imagine how to shoot. Take lots of shots from all over the place and see which you like. :D

I think the change I'd make most would be to use a smaller aperture for landscape style shots and only use a large aperture when you're trying to focus attention on one subject. Other than that, take lots of photos.

There's also a smudge in some of the photos on the left side. I'm not sure what it's from. It can be removed in photoshop (I'd try the clone tool) but it may be a smudge on a lens that can be cleaned off.

22nd December 2008, 12:15 PM
As for photoshop editing, I can't help you there. I very rarely post process any of my photos as the cameras do a pretty good job of matching what is seen. The only common exceptions are:

Where I intentionally under or overexpose to keep the highlights or shadows and then bring the levels back to normal in post.
When I'm playing around with HDR. (But I still haven't made any I like).
When the camera has been fooled by the light and is too cool/warm.

Of all of these photos
Flickr: Martin.mac.au's Photostream (http://www.flickr.com/photos/56999492@N00/)

Carlo Sandblow was warmed slightly
Bonython Hall was sharpened slightly
Festival centre and Railway station is a panorama

And that's it. Everything else is straight from the camera, maybe with a crop.

27th December 2008, 12:40 PM
Photoshop is good for subtly removing mistakes or subtly adjusting colours, fancy things require a lot more expertise and are really where photoshop comes into its own. The trick with photoshop is to not know you've used photoshop. Have a look on the net, there are millions of photoshop tutorials, if you google for photoshop and the effect or transformation you want to try, you will generally find it, just learn the terminology. But remember to keep your originals, a lot of the photoshop transformations are lossy and you will lose the clarity or natural look of your originals quite easily.

27th December 2008, 01:54 PM
For 4 and 5 (sunrise and tree) I think they are just boring photos. (I do a lot of them too :D ) They lack an object of interest.

I'd hate to go as far as saying that they are boring but there is a lack of interest. One trick I always try is not to look at what you are photographing but what you aren't. ie look at the negative space in the composition - is it an interesting shape? For eg, take your 5th photo (the tree in the landscape). The negative space here is the sky which is shaped as a regular slab taking up the top half of the photo. This makes the composition quite bleh. If you had got closer a shot up at the tree you could have composed an interesting shape of 'negative' space around the tree adding a degree of conflict to the picture, making it more striking.

I really like the composition of the second photo (the gate), but given the gate is the natural focal point here I would have focussed on this and blurred the foreground vines.

I do like the diagonals you have in the slab fence and vine photos.

27th December 2008, 02:03 PM
From one amateur to another :

Personally, I'd do a bit of mucking around with the levels/curves in most of those photos - makes them a bit punchier (this is like adjusting the contrast/brightness, but you have much much more control).

I'd also play with saturation and colour balance a wee bit, maybe giving a warm tint to a few. The sunset one could be made a lot more engaging with a combination of curves (perhaps with a gradient layer mask to apply it only to the sky) and some colour adjustment

You seem to be composing the shots OK (in my opinion), but you could also crop some of them quite effectively. You're on the right track.

You also should have a quick flick through the camera manual and find out how to operate the :
1. white balance control (you could make shots warmer in-camera)
2. EV control (a few are a bit overexposed)
3. Aperture (get a handle on depth of field)


maybe like this (as an example):