Photos, Thoughts, and Questions

Vatican Museum

Vatican Museums

While we were walking to the Vatican Museum, I saw a groom and bride walking on the other side of street. I remember someone (Amy?) had taken a bride and groom photo in Span. Since this couple looked very nice, I thought to myself “Why not?” I stopped and took time to aim, which was a surprise to me since most of the time I would just raise camera and shoot.

The groom saw me taking a photo. He smiled, pointing me to the bride. The bride smiled. The groom then waved to me. I felt as if they were sharing their joy with me and I was very happy for them.

groom&brides

This is the original photo. At first, I cropped out the extra person on the left and converted it to a black and white photo, which I planned to post. After looking at it for many days, I changed my mind. I liked the original photo better. I think that extra person, actually, helped identifying the place this couple was. In other words, she, somehow, contributed to the story.

What do you think? Would you get rid of that extra person?

San Gimignano

San Gimignano1s

Inside of San Gimignano, Italy’s most picturesque medieval town, there is a dried up well that has many coins and some dollar bills in it. Apparently, people treat it like a make-a-wish well. A couple of young kids tied a magnet to a string and retrieved many coins and even a $5 bill from the well. They were very happy. Bystanders smiled. Cute and smart kids. But is it a right thing to do (morally)? Whose money was it? I had no idea.

FishingCoins

Duomo

Duomo1s

Did you notice the big TV screen on the left?

I saw a cute kid with his mother in front of Duomo. Should I focus on the boy or the birds? I wasn’t sure which would make a better photo, but decided birds.

Boy2s

Final Question: Sharpness

Some of you probably remember that there was a period of time I suffered with grainy photos. I am happy to say that nowadays I pay more attention to my ISO setting and haven’t seen any grainy photo for a while (Thank you for all the helps I had received!) I remember someone (maybe more than one person) said that he always zoomed in 100% to check photo noises. My question is: do we do the same to check sharpness?

I am thinking… it may depend on the pixel count (trying to use my brain here.) Is there any suggested rule out there?

Thanks for visiting my blog.

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About Helen C

A retired computer programmer who loves writing and photographing, and has managed to publish a YA novel "Jin-Ling’s Two Left".
This entry was posted in photo, photo and thoughts, Photo Question. Bookmark the permalink.

32 Responses to Photos, Thoughts, and Questions

  1. Adhika says:

    I actually love that wedding shot. I get “spontaneity” in the picture. I mean, on your wedding day, won’t you have a lot more people around you? Instead, these couple are by themselves (at least depicted so), and the other lady walking away from them adds to that picture.

    Regarding sharpness, I have two comments:
    1) Even though sharpening in post processing = adding noise to the picture, but image sharpness is not equal to noise.
    2) Sharpness of the picture is affected mostly by shooting technique and then lens.

    Sharpness is mostly lost due to image blur and focus problem and then the ability of the lens to focus the light onto the camera sensor accurately. In other words, the focus can be spot on but the image can be soft because of the lens itself. This is one reason some lenses cost a fortune to purchase. All lenses are sharp in the center and softer at the corners/borders. Expensive lenses have better corner to corner sharpness. But for 95% of us, sharpness is lost because of poor shooting technique (motion blur or incorrect focusing combined with probably shallow DOF).

    Viewing your image 100% help you decide if you need to add additional sharpening to the image. Add too much and you risk the image looks over sharpened. In LR, the sharpening mask is a very useful tool to avoid this. The equivalent tool for this in PS is the unsharp mask.

    Just my two cents! Welcome back from the Eternal city, Helen!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Helen C says:

      Thanks, Adhika. I don’t know if you knew that I recently bought D750 (Love it!). With the new camera and new lens (I think I told you about the lens in comment of the previous post ), my pictures are much sharper (Yeah!). Many of them are sharp at 100%, but few are not, but they look sharp at 40%. If I don’t enlarge and print, should I be bothered by they look sharp 40%, not 100?
      It’s probably a weird question. I guess I am trying to see if there is a scientific rule to follow (to make it easier) 😉

      Liked by 1 person

    • Helen C says:

      Forgot to say, I am glad you like that wedding picture. 😉 I struggled a little, but finally figured out which way I like better.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Adhika says:

    I read somewhere that you just bought the D750. I just bought one, too. After 4 years with my D90, I start to feel that I am being limited by it so I made the investment.

    First, sharpness is relative. What is sharp on a small print might not be sharp when printed on a large size. If you want to read more about it, do a quick search on “Circle of Confusion”. But, do check the results at 100%. I think what’s important here is to determine whether your “unsharp” images are caused by incorrect focusing or because of motion blur or simply because it’s just the problem with the lens. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Helen C says:

      Yeah! I am so glad you have a D750 too. I know who to ask questions!
      I am pretty sure those unsharp images are caused by user error. ;-( since most of them were quite sharp – same lens.
      Thanks again.

      Like

  3. Amy says:

    Hi Helen, Thank you for remembering the wedding pic I posted last year. 🙂 You take great photos, I like the wedding photo especially. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. loisajay says:

    Such great photos, Helen. I love the person in the bride & groom shot. She adds a certain something to the photo. I love it as is. The kids? No, that’s stealing. A TV? No….. Pigeons are a riot! Glad you focused on them, even though the little guy is cute!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Helen C says:

      Good morning, Lois. I think I have changed a little. Before, I would get rid of that extra person without giving a second thought. Now I do have a second thought and that’s different 😉 And you saw that (she adds a certain something…) right away. Yeah!
      To be honest, when I wrote this, the word “pigeon” escaped from me, and I didn’t want to bother to ask my husband. I was so glad to read your comment and get that word back. Ha.
      Have a great day.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Cee Neuner says:

    I would have cropped the photo, but then I like closer up views. That is just personal taste. I do like graffiti on the wall and the wall itself.

    For sharpness and clarity I usually zoom in to make sure I don’t over correct. I used to always over correct because I liked it, but now I’m keeping more natural looking. Again it is all what you want as the artist and photographer.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Helen C says:

      Good morning, Cee. I think my taste have changed a little, like I’ve told Lois on previous comment. When I saw the photo, right away, I cropped it because I like closer up views too and it happened that this photo is sharp so I can crop anyway I want. But something was bugging me this time, so I went back reviewing it many times and finally came to a conclusion that I liked the original one better.
      Like you, I often over correct the sharpness. 😉 For me, I have to go back and look at the photo on the next day or a day later to notice that. I like the process though. It’s fun like revising a novel.
      Have a great day.

      Like

  6. Mabel Kwong says:

    Love the groom and bride photo, Helen. They look so happy, enjoying their moment like the world is theirs. As for sharpness, I’ve only started paying attention to that in my photos at the beginning of the year. Adhika’s response was very informative. Ever since I upgraded my point-and-shoot to a more high end one (Canon G7X, which is my everyday go to camera), I’ve noticed my photos have become more sharp.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Helen C says:

      Thank you, Mabel. Good camera/lens does help. I, too, think my photos have become more sharp since I got a new camera.
      (Adhika is great! 😉
      I have one other “guessing” that I forgot to mention. Of course a good camera/lens helps, but I suspect the weight of camera/lens has some effect too. The new camera is heavier, which I thought I would have problem with, but I’ve noticed that I have less hand-movement now… maybe because it’s harder to move?
      Have a great day!

      Like

  7. joannesisco says:

    I have no answers or opinions for you Helen, but I enjoyed your questions. For me, they really added to the photos. My favourite is the little boy with the pigeons. I like the composition of it … and the look of uncertainty on his face.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Helen C says:

      Good morning, Joanne. Everyone has something that he is good at. Mine is asking questions. 😉 One of my instructors asked me if I could send him my question before he gave the lecture because he wanted to prepare for the answer. He was joking, of course.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Robin says:

    I enjoy all of the photos. I can’t give you any advice about techniques for taking photos. I think I would have cropped the wedding couple, but left it in color. But, it is personal choice. The other person adds something to the environment where you took the photo. What a nice couple. I like that you left the little boy in the foreground of the photo with the birds behind him. I think that is nice composition. The two girls are cute. I suppose there might be a sign if it wasn’t okay to fetch the money out of the well. The TV screen is interesting and seems so out of place with the beautiful old architecture of the church. Composition, ISO, etc. are all a mystery to this point and shoot photographer. One day, I hope to upgrade to a real camera and take some time to learn something about taking photos.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Helen C says:

      Thank you, Robin, for your wonderful comment. I appreciate it. My husband is a photographer. He bought me a real camera many years ago, but I kept using my point and shoot camera because it was lighter. Poor guy even tried to carry the camera for me, but I still like the simple one I had… until two years ago. Now I wish I would start earlier. 😉 What I am trying to say is… I think you will enjoy the real camera. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  9. restlessjo says:

    I would have focused more on the little boy, because he’s adorable, but what do I know- it’s personal taste. And probably the same for the bride and groom. I’d like to see the cropped version. I’m really not much for street photography. You’re doing a great job. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Helen C says:

      Thanks, Jo. I find myself keep evolving. The way I liked it before is different from the way I like it now. In a workshop I attended recently, the instructor asked us when taking street photos, do we focus on face, or a whole person, or on the environment? It was an interesting question for me because I used to focus on face only, then the whole person, and now I am interested in the person in a certain environment. I find this interesting.

      Like

  10. rommel says:

    I love this! – The concept of the blogpost. You should make it a challenge thingie. I might do one myself. It brings out the thought process in presenting pictures we post.
    I love the idea that you told a story from including the other person walking against the bride and the groom. I’d probably crop it myself. I always think about subject and the focus of that subject. A wedding couple waving back at a random picture-taking – that should be it, for me at least. I just don’t think that there is a correlation between them and the other person. The birds and the kid photos are okay. There’s a point of putting it together. It shows why the boy is smiling. It is just fine too if they’re photographed separately.
    My pictures are grainy nowadays. Most of the reason for me is the fact that my camera and lens are old. 🙂 I’m accepting donations to get at least new lens. Ahihihi…. I kid.
    I love these pictures. It may not be a popular respond but I love the first one the most.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Helen C says:

      Thank you so much, Rommel. Your comment means a lot to me. I like your suggestion! The wedding photo — I am still leaning toward to include the extra person in it. It seems telling me that on one hand we are all connected (he waved to us who are strangers to him), but on the other hand we are in our own world (the other person who walked by them never turned around to take a second look at the couple). It’s interesting.
      You are so right about the camera and lens. I always thought it (grainy) was caused by me not using the correct setting. I was surprised how much different a new camera and lens could make. Then again, they keep coming up with new lens… when to stop? (Not saying I have this problem… I usually keep using the same one.)
      Have a great day.

      Like

  11. treerabold says:

    I really like the bride and groom photo. I think it is good you didn’t crop. Something about the extra person and the graffiti makes the picture for me.

    I don’t understand why there is a massive TV attached to the beautiful church….but great catch!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Helen C says:

      Thanks, Tree. It seems like everyone has different opinion on that wedding photo. I am with you; I like the way it is. 😉
      If I remember right, the big TV shows advertisements. It’s sad.
      Have a great evening.

      Liked by 1 person

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