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Posts posted by danielwoodrum

  1. Peter, I had been keeping the polarizer on all the time simply for convenience. I wish I could claim there was some deeper thought at work, but there wasn't. Not until this thread developed did I realize exactly how much light the polarizer takes away, so now I'm switching back and forth between uv and polarizer, always using one or the other (if for no other reason than to protect the lens itself). Thanks for the tips in your earlier post, also.


    as for the lens itself, i have accepted the fact that i'll need to trade up, perhaps replacing it with 2 or more better quality lenses.


    as for the camera: i love it. it does everything I need it to do, and does it simply. I was lucky enough to spend a few days at the grand canyon/4 corners area this past week, and really try out the camera's range. The lens (still the only one I currently own) performed poorly--lots of vignetting when I forgot and shot wide at 18mm--but the camera is a dream. Definitely fewer overexposed/underexposed shots than with my old canon 300d. everything works faster, from camera boot-up to reviewing pictures already taken. I will hopefully have a chance in the next few days to post some of these pictures to my portfolio.


    sadly, I think I might have to send the camera back to sony, though. There is a vertical line of pixels on the display that *sometimes* flickers or displays improperly.


    and this is also off-topic to the original thread, but i'll mention it too: the only other weird behavior I noticed from the camera was when shooting using the :02 delay on long exposure night shots. Once the picture was taken, I would get a "processing" screen that sometimes lasted a few seconds before the image appeared on the screen, other times it would hang forever, until I powered down the camera and back on again. Then, the picture would be there. I only experienced it in the :02 delay mode. Weird.

  2. i appreciate all your suggestions. From now on I probably will go with just one or the other filter, not both. As I learn more about taking good pictures I gradually get less and less lazy, and more willing to take the extra time to make such changes. I'll also start shopping around for a better combination of lenses to replace this one-size-fits-all lens.
  3. yes I do know what a polarizer does, and when it is and is not effective. I normally leave it on all the time for convenience, and have never noticed any detrimental effects from it. this wasn't really the point of my post. Rather, I wanted to illustrate that i cannot use a filter at 18mm, no matter what kind of picture I'm taking. but for that matter, I guess I can't use this lens at 18mm anyhow, even with nothing on it, because it vignettes all by itself.
  4. they're both quantaray, i don't know the thickness but i'd imagine they're on the thicker side, since the thinner ones are probably more expensive and I didn't spend a fortune on them.


    i guess i'll lose the uv, and just stick with the polarizer for now, and try not to get too close to 18mm... at least until i can pick up a better lens.

  5. I've only had my new Alpha for about 24 hours, so my impressions are very

    preliminary. so far, I love the camera, but i'm not too pleased with the 18-200

    lens that came with it (i bought the alpha 100-H kit, that includes the 18-200

    3.5-6.3 sony lens). First, I noticed that the autofocus seems very slow, and

    the motor is very loud. Then, I noticed some rather serious vignetting. Take a

    look at the attached pictures, the first one is of my cat, with both a uv and

    circ. polarizer attached. the second is a test shot with just the polarizer,

    and the third is with nothing at all... and even then the vignetting is still



    I used to leave the polarizer and uv attached all the time on my old canon

    rebel's 18-55 lens, and never had this problem.


    what do you think? does anyone else have a similar experience with this lens?<div>00J15f-33797984.jpg.bf79cd6b1d018ea3ddec6730b12ef98b.jpg</div>

  6. laurie, my plan (and it always changes) is to quickly visit guadalupe after arriving on the 28th, then spend the night of the 28th in Carlsbad, on the 29th hit the caverns in the am and White Sands in the PM, then spend that night around lordsburg (western edge of the state). If the weather is OK I'm hoping to spend the 30th (am) at Cave Creek Canyon near Portal, AZ, and then drive up to silver city in the PM. The next day is Mogollon, "the catwalk" and perhaps the Very Large Array at sunset. On Apr. 1 I hope to be at the trinity bomb site (they only open it up to the public 2 times a year, and it just happened to match up with my travel plans) then it's on north to ABQ and the mountains around Santa Fe. In other words, I'm trying to cover waaaaay too much ground in just a few days. </p><p> I'm not spending a lot of time at guadalupe because it seems from almost everything i've read, that most of the hikes are long day hikes. The hike to the grotto and McKittrick Canyon sound nice, but i'd have to invest a lot of time there.</p><P> If carlsbad is your northernmost point, we probably won't cross paths, but it is kinda funny that we <i>almost</i> will.
  7. laurie, how weird is this: i'm flying into ELP on the 28th, and will be hitting many of the same locations (except the big bend, don't think i'll make it down that far). Can't wait to compare carlsbad and guadalupe pics with you! no wait, you'll run circles around me as always. Oh well, maybe i'll see you there!
  8. life is too short to worry about the ratings. they're pretty much meaningless anyhow, since everyone has a different definition of what a "3" means. to me, a "3" means a picture is flawed, technically or aesthetically, to the point where I cannot appreciate or enjoy it. I believe to some others, a "3" means "my work is much better than this, so i'll boost my own ego by handing out low ratings."</p><p>The moral of my story? appreciate the 7's, 6's, and 5's you get, accept the 4's, and don't worry about the rest.
  9. it's been said by many that we should look at the average, not the extremes. I don't think that works anymore. Why?


    Here's my theory. I believe many PN users have given up on the ratings system out of frustration. Unfortunately, these are the people who would have, in the past, given solid, reasonable ratings to photos. Instead now, perhaps they leave only a comment (which is great, don't get me wrong!). But the end result is that good photos get hit with 2's, 3's, and 4's, but not the 5's, 6's, and 7's that the photos probably deserve.


    Of course, with the anonymous ratings system, I can't tell if the helpful folks who comment on my photos, who say they love them, are leaving ratings or not.


    It's just a theory. Man, am I getting tired of thinking about this!

  10. after reading all the responses so far, i think the most intriguing was mark's, when he said "Most, if not all, would choose to block anonymous raters." Indeed! so if most, if not all of us, don't want to receive anonymous ratings, then let's make things simple, and do away with them altogether!


    I know all the reasons for and against anonymity, and there's no real point in rehashing that argument once again. But it does seem that enough people are frustrated that some kind of compromise would be appropriate.


    Most of you mentioned that the comments are where it's really at... not the ratings. I couldn't agree more, and I try to comment as much as possible these days. I try to use the "complement sandwich" that they tell you about in management training... say something nice, add your criticism, then end with something else nice. I do that not only to avoid retaliation, but also to provide some encouragement to my fellow photogs. After all, criticism shouldn't be our only goal here, right?


    Further, the comments I receive, and exchange with other photographers, are the one reason i will likely renew my membership when it rolls around.


    Many of your responses raise a good point about the ratings. It appears that a "4" is the new "5". I'm cool with that... and most times I'm only disappointed with 3's or below. But a 3 still means "below average" and a 2 still means "bad", and I still believe some of those are undeserved. Of course, I know, I'm biased.


    I would like to know from the system administrators what the average rating is on a photo posted today, and those posted a year ago. It would likely prove the theory.


    Also, I wonder if PN should provide a more detailed definition of "good", "average", "poor", etc. What does "average" mean, anyway?


    Now to respond to a few individuals:


    Tim, regarding corny phrases: If you look through all my folders, you will find about half don't have titles. I haven't noticed a big difference, and any change i've noticed would be skewed by the recent change in what the numbers *mean*. Further, while some titles may be a little "corny", most are simply titles. Still, I appreciate your feedback on that matter, since I've received almost no comments elsewhere, pro or con, regarding titles/frames... and i had wondered if it was a plus or a negative.


    (and one more note, even though it's off topic here: i've changed to a black frame, and a more faint text, because I find it less distracting. We'll see if that helps!)


    Laurie, i only see one shot of the gandy pilings in your "new" folder... hope you post more. Beautiful work as always.


    thanks for all your thoughts.



  11. i know there have been a billion posts about the PN ratings system,

    and i've read some, but certainly not all, of them. So I hope I can

    offer a fresh perspective and idea.


    I've been a PN member for nearly a year, and have slowly watched my

    average ratings go from mid 5's to low 4's. This, despite my belief

    that my photography has become better over the past year. While I

    believe my photos are pretty good, I gladly acknowledge there are many

    here who are much more talented and creative. But consistently

    receiving 2's and 3's, every time I post, is quite discouraging, and I

    don't think discouragement is a good reason to post here. And,

    without knowing who's rating my photos, I don't know if the low

    ratings come from the general population, or one person with a chip on

    his/her shoulder. That inability makes the rating system even less



    OK, with all that said, here is my suggestion:


    Could we change the system to allow the poster to choose whether

    he/she accepts anonymous ratings? The "rate recent" pages could

    include an anonymous on/off switch. If the poster does not want any

    anonymous ratings, a message could appear, requiring an anonymous

    rater to either identify himself/herself, or skip to the next photo.

    I believe this method would give *everyone* what they want... those

    who aren't ashamed to identify themselves can, while those who crave

    the cover of anonymity are also satisfied.


    what do you think?

  12. i agree with kathy. I like to be able to see the breakdown to know if one extremely low rating is skewing the average on my photo. Did I receive a 1/1 amongst a bunch of 5/5's, or is everyone giving me 4/4's? As for the names, why not add a checkbox on the RR to allow that particular rating to be anonymous? I'm not ashamed of the ratings I give out, but in the rare instance I want to be anonymous, a checkbox would allow me to easily cast my rating in secrecy.
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