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Photo TR: Cedar Point 6/6/2010


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Thank you everybody for all the compliments!

 

I do have some more photos I may be able to throw up later on today.. I have another photo TR I posted two weeks ago I believe it was, HERE which you can take a look at, although the shots from this week are a bit better due to lighting and such IMO. But worth a look anyway!

 

Glad you are all enjoying the photos... I will have more as the season goes on. I will probably just add them to this post though so we don't have a dozen CP photo TR's by the time the season is over from me. I will have some from the shows, at night and of course Halloweekends ( I am very prepared this year for it ). So sticky this thread for updates throughout the season!

 

Thanks again everybody... If anybody has any questions just let me know.

 

-Steve

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Excellent photos, exactly the type of quality that I strive for. I was at CP about a week and a half ago, and crowds weren't too bad so I didn't want to take time out to take photos. With lines as short as you describe, I would have spent all day on rides!

 

Most of the images had no color adjustments done to them, but only exposure/level adjustment. The nice blue hues from the sky come from circular polarizing filters, not editing or saturation push.

The problem I have is it is often cloudy when I have time to shoot photos, but I should definitely use my polarizer more often when I have sun. I usually forgo it in favor of having more light, more depth of field, and shorter exposure times to freeze action, since I like to shoot rider reaction shots.

 

What ISO are you using with that 7D? I can see the exposure time and aperture in the metadata, but ISO is not shown. I try to keep it to ISO400 or below with my 5D MkII. Are you using NR in the camera or in Lightroom?

 

I usually shoot with the "Neutral" style, what is your style set to on your camera? Many of the modes accentuate color and sharpness (like "Landscape"), but I prefer to do that later on in post processing.

 

I also noticed that your shots are about 4x the file size of mine. I have tended to compress quite a bit since I have a slow connection, and it shows in my images. Maybe I'll redo some of mine and add a watermark along the way.... -Mike

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Excellent photos, exactly the type of quality that I strive for. I was at CP about a week and a half ago, and crowds weren't too bad so I didn't want to take time out to take photos. With lines as short as you describe, I would have spent all day on rides!

 

What ISO are you using with that 7D? I can see the exposure time and aperture in the metadata, but ISO is not shown. I try to keep it to ISO400 or below with my 5D MkII. Are you using NR in the camera or in Lightroom?

 

I usually shoot with the "Neutral" style, what is your style set to on your camera? Many of the modes accentuate color and sharpness (like "Landscape"), but I prefer to do that later on in post processing.

 

I also noticed that your shots are about 4x the file size of mine. I have tended to compress quite a bit since I have a slow connection, and it shows in my images. Maybe I'll redo some of mine and add a watermark along the way.... -Mike

 

Hey Mike,

 

To answer your questions... What ISO I use highly depends on the situation. If I need to stop motion (let's say riders on Dragster, Maverick, etc...) I will use ISO 200-800 to get the shot depending on light. I always shoot in manual or aperture priority modes. I strive to get shutter speeds of about 1/1000 or faster to stop motion.

 

For the more 'scenic' shots, I am almost always on ISO 100 or 200. On the 7D however, I have no problems going up to ISO 3200 or even 6400 if need be to get certain shots during Halloweekends for example (at night/dusk). As long as they are properly exposed, noise is really a non-issue, just depends how much noise bothers you. If I have heavy noise due to ISO 3200, 6400 or even ISO 12,800... I have a program called "Neat Image" which is a plug-in for photoshop. This does an incredible job on reducing heavy noise without ruining all the detail. But I only use this once and a while for very noise photos I want to print for example.

 

Since I shoot in RAW, the picture 'style' does not apply to me. That only applies to JPEG's the camera produces if you are shooting JPEG's. RAW images are not altered in anyway in the camera in regards to color, sharpening or anything else. The RAW file is, well, RAW. I process my files in Lightroom 3 afterward to edit and export as my final JPEG image. In lightroom I have my default values in terms of sharpening, saturation, vibrance, noise removal, etc... I do not like shooting JPEG only (I shoot JPEG+RAW) because they never look near as good as my RAW images... I get sharper more detailed images using RAW, as well as better dynamic range and the ability to really push exposure if need be. JPEG's are just VERY limiting if that is all you shoot.

 

These photos are not heavily sharpened or have excess color saturation. When using prime lenses, you get beautiful results like this with ease. My primes (30mm f/1.4, 135mm f/2L and 300mm f/4L) all produce better images than any zoom lens I have used. You just get unreal sharpness, clarity, color rendition and contrast when using them. This is why I have invested into more prime lenses recently, the results are mind-blowing. You should see the detail in these images at full size, 100% viewing. It would blow you away. When you start with an image like this, your end result looks even better (especially resized).

 

Lightroom 3 is INCREDIBLE processing RAW files... Give it a try... It was just released but I was using the Beta version a few months. If you are a college student, you can pick it up for $87 or so I believe it was. Incredible deal compared to the $299 they usually want! You can download and try it out for 30 days on Adobe's website. Lightroom is a photo-editing powerhouse, it is just so nice to use.

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I have a program called "Neat Image" which is a plug-in for photoshop. This does an incredible job on reducing heavy noise without ruining all the detail. But I only use this once and a while for very noise photos I want to print for example.

Thanks for the answers - sound like we basically do the same things. I just got the Topaz suite of plugins, but I will also look up Neat Image (actually I think I already did).

 

Since I shoot in RAW, the picture 'style' does not apply to me.

Actually, they might.....

 

I also shoot RAW. The styles are applied internally as filters to the RAW files. "Monochrome" directly affects the RAW file - it gets rid of the color information and leaves only luminance - so there is proof that the style affects the RAW file. The same filters are available in Digital Photo Professional (DPP - for those that don't know that's the software that comes with Canon DSLRs).

 

In fact, Canon's site says this: "With JPEG files, Picture Style effects are permanently embedded in camera and cannot be changed; RAW files can have their Picture Style settings determined in-camera or during RAW processing in DPP."

 

So, if you're not using DPP and your style setting is not set to neutral, the camera IS doing something to the RAW files, and you may be seeing the effects of that in Lightroom without knowing it. Not sure.

 

When using prime lenses, you get beautiful results like this with ease.

I agree that primes give great results (have a 50mm and 300mm prime now, looking at the 135mm), but there is also the learning curve of learning how to use a real camera, how to pick shots, how to trade off f#, ISO, exposure time, etc. For me, that's half the fun, playing with different shots and settings to get the effect that I want.

 

Sorry for the photo-geek-talk everyone, but it's been nice discussing this with you Steven.

 

I haven't posted too many images lately. Maybe I'll process a few from Holiwood Nights if I get some time. -Mike

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I have a program called "Neat Image" which is a plug-in for photoshop. This does an incredible job on reducing heavy noise without ruining all the detail. But I only use this once and a while for very noise photos I want to print for example.

Thanks for the answers - sound like we basically do the same things. I just got the Topaz suite of plugins, but I will also look up Neat Image (actually I think I already did).

 

Since I shoot in RAW, the picture 'style' does not apply to me.

Actually, they might.....

 

I also shoot RAW. The styles are applied internally as filters to the RAW files. "Monochrome" directly affects the RAW file - it gets rid of the color information and leaves only luminance - so there is proof that the style affects the RAW file. The same filters are available in Digital Photo Professional (DPP - for those that don't know that's the software that comes with Canon DSLRs).

 

In fact, Canon's site says this: "With JPEG files, Picture Style effects are permanently embedded in camera and cannot be changed; RAW files can have their Picture Style settings determined in-camera or during RAW processing in DPP."

 

So, if you're not using DPP and your style setting is not set to neutral, the camera IS doing something to the RAW files, and you may be seeing the effects of that in Lightroom without knowing it. Not sure.

 

When using prime lenses, you get beautiful results like this with ease.

I agree that primes give great results (have a 50mm and 300mm prime now, looking at the 135mm), but there is also the learning curve of learning how to use a real camera, how to pick shots, how to trade off f#, ISO, exposure time, etc. For me, that's half the fun, playing with different shots and settings to get the effect that I want.

 

Sorry for the photo-geek-talk everyone, but it's been nice discussing this with you Steven.

 

I haven't posted too many images lately. Maybe I'll process a few from Holiwood Nights if I get some time. -Mike

 

 

That is true... I forgot that picture styles are "held on" by the RAW file, but not applied unless used with DPP. For other 3rd party RAW programs, they usually are not applied in any way. Thanks for clearing that up, forgot about DPP...

 

And I totally agree with learning the camera... I did not mean to sound like lenses are everything, because that is far from the truth. You can have the best equipment in the world and somebody with an Iphone could make better photographs... That is one thing I laugh at though, when people say "Your camera must take good photos" because the camera is 1% of it, 99% is the person behind the camera. It is just a tool, and like any tool you must know how to use it. Just because you have a paintbrush does not mean you can paint the Mona Lisa, does it? Many people think so with cameras though...

 

I agree, the best part of photography is experimenting. How you can change settings in-camera to get vastly different results. Or how to play with external or off-camera flash to get incredible portraits outside. This is one area I plan to work on next... Lighting is everything in photography.

 

I would love to see your Holliwood Night photos! Let me know when you post them up.

 

If you have AIM/AOL, feel free to contact me (screename: Invertalon) anytime to talk about photography and such. Always nice to have somebody else to talk with and learn from.

 

Take it easy,

 

Steven

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OMG!!!!! Hanno, watch out - because you have some competition! (Don't worry, I still love your photos Hanno!!) I completely love your shots. You have a FANTASTIC eye! Thank you for letting us know what camera and lenses you used. Every time I see pictures that take my breath away, I always end up asking. I guess it is the camera dork in myself. lol. I have yet to bring my D90 into the parks. I am quite nervous so I usually bring my P&S. I also shoot mostly in RAW. Some pro's actually told me not to! (WTF?!) BUT, I definitely find that if I screw something up... I can usually fix it so much easier. While I am still learning, and bounce from Auto (I take lots of quick action kid shots) to Program mode mostly, I only sometimes on Aperture or Shutter speed. RAW & JPEG fine for most situations, and I currently use CS3. I really do not do much to the pics either. Sometimes I will change something to b/w or give a little vingetting. I have this huge thing for vingetting lately. But I always save a shot untouched. (Batch processing - LOVE IT!) I have been very curious to see how Lightroom is compared to the CS's though. I do not know how I have not noticed your pictures before! Cannot wait for more. You are now my coaster photography idol!

 

A 300 prime? WOAH! I never would have thought of getting that. I have a 35 prime, and a 70-300 macro...oh, and my kit lens, which I absolutely love. (18-135mm). For a kit lens, it takes some crisp pics. My next lens will be a wide... 14-24mm I think it was. Gotta SAVE SAVE SAVE!!

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^^

 

Thank you very much! I really appreciate comments and feedback.

 

I do not blame you for taking a P&S into parks versus a larger camera... The bulk and weight can get tiring quickly! At a given time I usually have at least three lenses in my bag, along with filters and other miscellaneous equipment. However lately, I have been trying to cut back to only a lens or two and make those work throughout the day. On vacation, I usually bring everything with me because I never know exactly what I will need though. At the same time, the weight and effort can pay off big at times! For example:

 

Like Saturday night at CP, we had amazing storms roll in at around 8:30pm... It was a crazy lightning storm with extremely heavy rains. I took some HD video walking through Starlight in that thunderstorm, during which, silhouettes of MF would flash in the background when the lightning would strike across the sky, it was crazy! Not a person in sight as well which made for excellent, unbothered video. Sure, it is nothing show-worthy, but at least I can replay the moment. This is what makes it worth it for me!

 

I do not understand why people will not shoot in RAW, especially with how easy programs like Lightroom make it easy to process them... I have used Canon's DDP software, Photoshop CS3, Adobe Bridge and Lightroom. Especially since the recent release of Lightroom 3, there is no competition. V3 has incredible noise reduction and sharpening algorithms that SMOKE anything the camera could do for you (as well as the other programs). The software is so clean cut, easy to use and powerful. I highly recommend you try it out! You can for 30-days free from Adobe... If you plan to buy it, if you are a student you can get it for only $87 or something through Adobe's student center. You just need to prove you go to school and you are set... Beats the $299 price tag!

 

The 300 f/4L IS prime I used was a little awkward to use at the park at first, mostly due to its long telephoto range. Mounting to my 7D which has a 1.6x "crop factor", the 300mm ends up with an 'equivalent' focal length of 480mm... It really does make you think more about yours shots and their composition. I really like the ability to take the 'nerd' shots and grab candid’s though from parts of the ride most people simply cannot reach. Shooting at CP is fun however as you have so many large rides with excellent views all over. The challenging part is trying to get new ideas and perspectives that others have not used a million times already. But even small tweaks in similar photos many other people have taken (such as the focal length) you can really change how it looks and ‘feels’. I just find it awesome with this lens that I can go home and check out the photos I took of Dragsters top hat from Shoot the Rapids, and be able to see the proxy sensors at the top of the hill. I just love detail like that. It is what makes carrying that 2.6lb lens around the park for a few hours worth it!

 

I love using wide angle lenses... When I took my trip down to ATL in the spring, it was mounted to my camera almost the entire trip. It is the perfect city/museum lens. You will have a blast when you get it! So much fun to use!

 

That is one bad part of photography... It is VERY expensive. But honestly, you just cannot put a price tag on memories! Right??

 

Thanks again for your kind comments!

 

-Steve

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Hey pal, my GF wants me to get her a 300 mm lens for her Nikon.. and your beautiful, awesome pictures arn't helping me any over here..

 

I'd love to see your shots of MF.

 

And I have a quick question for ya.. When you take your camera to the park, would you ever imagine keeping it in a locker? We are going to Six Flags over GA soon and she was wondering if she should take her cam, but wasn't sure about the security of the locker systems. Thanks !

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Ahhhh, I see now! Makes MUCH more sense, hahah.

 

When at SFoG I kept my stuff in a lock.er at one point but it makes me quite nervous to be honest. Just due to the fact I was afraid if somebody saw me put my stuff inside the lock.er and they claimed to "lose" the key and were able to identify it was a camera and such, I am sure attendant people would easily give in to them. One thing I like to do is make sure it is put away entirely in the bag for a while before putting in a lock.er, just to be sure nobody saw exactly what was in it. Especially when I carry $5,000+ of equipment around with me at times. Not a risk I want to take, honestly!

 

I have stored my stuff away at SWO and BGT without a problem as well, but they felt less "risky" to me...

I really like the fingerprint variety myself at Uni/IOA for storing stuff away. I saw what they put somebody through when the lock.er would not read their print and they basically drilled them for contents in the purse that was inside. Makes me feel better. SFoG may of done the same, but the attendants did not look as sharp...

 

Regardless, I highly suggest a personal items insurance policy if you/your girlfriend plan to carry expensive gear around. I have mine insured through State Farm against theft, misplacement, damage (such as dropping a lens) and anything else except for mechanical failure due to age. No deductable either. Its very nice and like $1.49 per $100 insured I believe per year.

 

So in the end, I will put it in a lock.er if I have to… But I try to be very careful as best I can.

 

-Steve

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Here are some few pics from this past Sunday at the Snoopy on Ice show... I also got a nice shot of MF during the crazy storm that went on from about 9pm until close. Crazy night!

 

Enjoy,

IMG_2045.jpg.3a0e612b24266772b13c65ee3ddd8cb7.jpg

Performer

IMG_2062.thumb.jpg.57a1fd71957c66563cd9fcc6368b1b6b.jpg

Snoopy

IMG_2066.jpg.467495d2d4eec58ff92abb07716d5342.jpg

Part of the Gang

IMG_2095.jpg.edce9c3d5b26328d2ece64e3fd033a85.jpg

Viola!

IMG_2100.jpg.1a185114b7de6a6beddafc2f046e5866.jpg

Performer

IMG_2102.jpg.08b2df29df1f03ef9a52f14439b13b1a.jpg

In the air

IMG_2110.jpg.53393e1f790846e514ea3cd4c5b09bd3.jpg

Silhouette

IMG_2179.jpg.1f07a07819c4c1f16b8cb86b28de81da.jpg

The Cast

IMG_2184.jpg.87067da20a9d0adbff699aa8a0c4e5d3.jpg

Performer Clapping

IMG_2287.jpg.22c6601969d76914fc080cb25a499107.jpg

Millennium Force

IMG_2212.jpg.c4d6865923283fdf132abb044cf35d1a.jpg

Maverick with Storm Clouds

Edited by Invertalon
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Evidently there is something wrong with my account or something. I try to type the word

L

O

C

K

E

R

 

and it types fluffy, fluffy bunny filled with medicine and goo instead

 

Pretty funny, if you ask me.

 

 

Robb got tired of the word being used too much at one point, and I think there's a whole topic on the Six Flags loc.ker policy somewhere on the site where we used the word so much. It drove alot of people nuts.

 

So that's why L ocker has that result.

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Steven, that photo you took on the first page of this thread, the one with Shoot the rapids. Would you be willing to send me that photo? I tried to PM you but I think I kinda dumb because I couldn't get it to work lol...anyway let me know.

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