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Thread: Any idea why my pictures look so dull

  1. #1

    Default Any idea why my pictures look so dull

    Hi everyone. I've just got myself a D90 not long ago. Went out to take some pictures and realize that most of my pictures are rather dull. Can someone advice me as to what i'm doing wrong? Here's a picture i took in a church. Found the cross rather unconventional

    Last edited by eternalSun; 6th June 2010 at 11:47 PM. Reason: resized the image

  2. #2

    Default Re: Any idea why my pictures look so dull

    Guys so sorry i'm new to this don't know how to resize the pic.....should i upload a smaller picture instead???

  3. #3
    Senior Member geraldkhoo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Any idea why my pictures look so dull

    Quote Originally Posted by eternalSun View Post
    Guys so sorry i'm new to this don't know how to resize the pic.....should i upload a smaller picture instead???
    You can resize your pic using editing software like Picasa, then uploaded your to imageshack and link it (as you did before).
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    Senior Member sinned79's Avatar
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    Default Re: Any idea why my pictures look so dull

    this photo seems to be shoot in high ISO (so photo appears grainy)? i saw hand/camera shake also.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Any idea why my pictures look so dull

    are you shooting on completely auto settings?

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    Senior Member ovaltinemilo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Any idea why my pictures look so dull

    looks like a world map on my tiny 17" screen...haha...

    anyway, 1st impression is that the high iso has caused the colour to be off and image to be soft...thus, overall becomes dull
    if you still get this kinda photo in broad day light scenery, then something is wrong with your sensor...
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    Member nuracosho's Avatar
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    Default Re: Any idea why my pictures look so dull

    read up on the basic of photography in CS.. its so simple tht u dun even need to search...

  8. #8
    Senior Member geraldkhoo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Any idea why my pictures look so dull

    Is this better? I just did a bit of adjustment/editing of the pic.

    Last edited by geraldkhoo; 6th June 2010 at 11:03 PM.
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    Default Re: Any idea why my pictures look so dull

    Ahh! Church of the Divine Mercy
    1) the lighting in the church is real bad
    2)visible handshake although high iso is used.
    seems like you've taken it before or after mass, or on a weekday.

    *solution wait for mass to start,this is probably the only time where they will on the lights.
    wait.. you'll also need to compensate your exposure, due to the large amounts of whites behind the dirty bronze crucifix.
    Last edited by aloyyolaaloy; 6th June 2010 at 11:05 PM.
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    Senior Member geraldkhoo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Any idea why my pictures look so dull

    You can take a better pic, or do some editing to make it a better pic... or do both!

    2 things that are important in photography - (1) lighting, (2) composition... and I'll add the 3rd... post-processing. I know some purist may not like the post-processing part, but I find it important, sometimes just to tweak a little here and there, e.g. exposure, brightness, contrast, etc.

    Master these 3 and you'll do great!
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    Member Foxshade's Avatar
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    Default Re: Any idea why my pictures look so dull

    Hi hi... welcome.

    I am also using D90, and so far I find D90 is an amazing camera... but, so is Canon, Pentax, Sony, etc... and I have concluded that it's the photographer that count most.

    Your shot is not very sharp. Which part of the picture did you try to focus on?
    Is the church lighting too dim that you were forced to use higher ISO and longer shutter speed?

    D90 digital noise in high ISO shooting is bad. I always set it to 200 and never exceed 800.

    you can also wrap the camera strap around your camera hand (right hand) tightly to stabilize your grip. Of course nothing beats a good tripod.

    The dullness, maybe because of lack of contrasting colors, lack of proper composition?
    This is the article I have been reading, and keep it under my pillow so I can refer to it before I sleep.

    Lastly, read the manual. You'll need to know your camera intimately to exploit it's strength and cover it's weaknesses.
    Last edited by Foxshade; 6th June 2010 at 11:17 PM.
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  12. #12

    Default Re: Any idea why my pictures look so dull

    what's dull abt your picture??

    if you want it warmer, go to photoshop and use a warm filter.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Any idea why my pictures look so dull

    Quote Originally Posted by geraldkhoo View Post
    Is this better? I just did a bit of adjustment/editing of the pic.

    Thanks! Nothing again post processing but was hoping to get the basics right before starting on post processing

    Quote Originally Posted by aloyyolaaloy View Post
    Ahh! Church of the Divine Mercy
    1) the lighting in the church is real bad
    2)visible handshake although high iso is used.
    seems like you've taken it before or after mass, or on a weekday.

    *solution wait for mass to start,this is probably the only time where they will on the lights.
    wait.. you'll also need to compensate your exposure, due to the large amounts of whites behind the dirty bronze crucifix.
    Yes!! Church of Divine Mercy. Went there around 1+ so it was after mass i guess. no idea if it's more due to my hand being unsteady or there being too much whites. If there are too many white's I should meter off the bronze crucifix? Or should I up the exposure compensation? Sorry for asking noob question.

    Quote Originally Posted by magicianhisoka View Post
    are you shooting on completely auto settings?
    Nope. Was shooting using aperture priority. but i think i set my metering to 3d....should i have used center or spot metering?

    Quote Originally Posted by Foxshade View Post
    Hi hi... welcome.

    I am also using D90, and so far I find D90 is an amazing camera... but, so is Canon, Pentax, Sony, etc... and I have concluded that it's the photographer that count most.

    Your shot is not very sharp. Which part of the picture did you try to focus on?
    Is the church lighting too dim that you were forced to use higher ISO and longer shutter speed?

    D90 digital noise in high ISO shooting is bad. I always set it to 200 and never exceed 800.

    you can also wrap the camera strap around your camera hand (right hand) tightly to stabilize your grip. Of course nothing beats a good tripod.

    The dullness, maybe because of lack of contrasting colors, lack of proper composition?
    This is the article I have been reading, and keep it under my pillow so I can refer to it before I sleep.

    Lastly, read the manual. You'll need to know your camera intimately to exploit it's strength and cover it's weaknesses.
    The lighting was rather dim so i had to use iso 800... also I don't really like setting the iso beyond 800 thus the longer shutter speed. But i've shot a couple of photos else where at iso 800 as well and the results were better. Will read up on that article you posted. thanks!

  14. #14

    Default Re: Any idea why my pictures look so dull

    EXIF information of threat starter's image shows the following
    -- Nikon D90 DSLR fitted with AF-S 18-105VR F3.5-5.6 lens
    -- Aperture priority setting
    -- 58mm focal length AF-C Dynamic Wide AF-Area mode with VR turned on
    -- ISO800 1/13s shutter speed F5 setting (against max. aperture opening of F5.1) EV+0
    -- Auto Active D-Lighting setting
    -- High ISO noise reduction activated
    -- Standard setting for picture control
    -- Possibly auto white balance setting

    At focal 58mm focal length, Photozone and SLRGear indicate better image can be obtained from F8 or F11 aperture setting.

    If thread starter wishes to capture ambient light of the indoor environment, tripod mounted shot with low ISO setting, small aperture setting & slow shutter speed maybe an alternative setting to pursue instead of relying on pumping up the ISO setting.

    In addition, picture lacked post processing as thread starter's picture histogram showed low contrast with pixels crowding left half of histogram distribution before processing. This possibly occurred as the camera is partially fooled by the light coloured wall. Other enhancements during post processing may include increasing lens distortion correction, colour cast correction, colour saturation and image sharpening.

    Below is outcome my attempt on the post processing of thread starter image.


  15. #15
    Member voxies09's Avatar
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    Default Re: Any idea why my pictures look so dull

    i think using fast lens with wider aperture will be good in low light situation like in the church
    Canon Kiss X4 | 18-55mm f3.5-5.6 IS II Kit lens | 50mm f1.8

  16. #16

    Default Re: Any idea why my pictures look so dull

    Quote Originally Posted by Squid View Post
    EXIF information of threat starter's image shows the following
    -- Nikon D90 DSLR fitted with AF-S 18-105VR F3.5-5.6 lens
    -- Aperture priority setting
    -- 58mm focal length AF-C Dynamic Wide AF-Area mode with VR turned on
    -- ISO800 1/13s shutter speed F5 setting (against max. aperture opening of F5.1) EV+0
    -- Auto Active D-Lighting setting
    -- High ISO noise reduction activated
    -- Standard setting for picture control
    -- Possibly auto white balance setting

    At focal 58mm focal length, Photozone and SLRGear indicate better image can be obtained from F8 or F11 aperture setting.

    If thread starter wishes to capture ambient light of the indoor environment, tripod mounted shot with low ISO setting, small aperture setting & slow shutter speed maybe an alternative setting to pursue instead of relying on pumping up the ISO setting.

    In addition, picture lacked post processing as thread starter's picture histogram showed low contrast with pixels crowding left half of histogram distribution before processing. This possibly occurred as the camera is partially fooled by the light coloured wall. Other enhancements during post processing may include increasing lens distortion correction, colour cast correction, colour saturation and image sharpening.

    Below is outcome my attempt on the post processing of thread starter image.

    wow! that looks much nicer. I don't have a tripod currently. will be getting one sometime in the near future but not so soon cause realise i've been spending too much I've not done any post processing. Will look into those post processing method you've mentioned. Thanks!

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Any idea why my pictures look so dull

    Quote Originally Posted by eternalSun View Post
    Yes!! Church of Divine Mercy. Went there around 1+ so it was after mass i guess. no idea if it's more due to my hand being unsteady or there being too much whites. If there are too many white's I should meter off the bronze crucifix? Or should I up the exposure compensation? Sorry for asking noob question.
    you can either meter the brown wall, or up your exp comp, its your preference.
    for me, i'll use an external meter and get the ambient reading.
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    Member NeTHaCk's Avatar
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    Default Re: Any idea why my pictures look so dull

    Quote Originally Posted by Foxshade View Post
    D90 digital noise in high ISO shooting is bad. I always set it to 200 and never exceed 800.
    wow. if you think d90 ISO noise is bad, have you ever ever ever tried the d50/70 or d80 or d200?

    iso1600 is still good compared to all those bodies. rule of thumb if your ISO max is 3200, never exceed 1600. if its Hi1 or 6400 never exceed 3200. always 1/2 way mark. never more

    back to topic, Ts needs to have post processing, most probably your ISO setting set to auto iso and where's your point of focus ? one more trick to good balance is your shooting. if you've been in NS, during rifle range, they teach you to hold your breath then fire to get more accurate shots. same theory
    Nikon D7000 : Tamron 17-50VC f2.8, SB-900
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  19. #19

    Default Re: Any idea why my pictures look so dull

    Quote Originally Posted by aloyyolaaloy View Post
    you can either meter the brown wall, or up your exp comp, its your preference.
    for me, i'll use an external meter and get the ambient reading.
    Sorry but what's external meter?

    Quote Originally Posted by NeTHaCk View Post
    wow. if you think d90 ISO noise is bad, have you ever ever ever tried the d50/70 or d80 or d200?

    iso1600 is still good compared to all those bodies. rule of thumb if your ISO max is 3200, never exceed 1600. if its Hi1 or 6400 never exceed 3200. always 1/2 way mark. never more

    back to topic, Ts needs to have post processing, most probably your ISO setting set to auto iso and where's your point of focus ? one more trick to good balance is your shooting. if you've been in NS, during rifle range, they teach you to hold your breath then fire to get more accurate shots. same theory
    hmm my point of focus was on the cross and i did manually set the iso. was it too high? if i set it any lower my shutter speed would have been longer and i've already maxed my apperture.....always never manage to get marksman in ns

  20. #20
    Senior Member ovaltinemilo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Any idea why my pictures look so dull

    Quote Originally Posted by eternalSun View Post
    Sorry but what's external meter?

    hmm my point of focus was on the cross and i did manually set the iso. was it too high? if i set it any lower my shutter speed would have been longer and i've already maxed my apperture.....always never manage to get marksman in ns
    you already have not enough light to start with...I would think, using your 18-105, try to shoot at 18mm, 1/6-1/10 with your VR on..don't use any in camera NR.

    How to really improve your shot more in the future for this location? get a f1.8 lens
    ...:::..::.Nikon.::.:::..
    RGB Metering & Focusing.

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