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 Post subject: First pics
PostPosted: Fri Oct 07, 2011 10:57 pm 
Here is my first offering from my entry into DSLR photography...hopefully this is the baseline!

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Oct 07, 2011 11:00 pm 
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Oct 07, 2011 11:02 pm 
Test with a polarised filter....interesting effect on the sky.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Oct 07, 2011 11:59 pm 
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Posts: 266
Location: Wales
Hi Ziggy

Number 3 is OK but they all seem out of focus, what settings were you using?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Oct 08, 2011 1:54 am 
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Location: Speyer (Germany)
Nice landscape!

BUT your shutter speeds are too long (1/4 sec on the last shot at 30mm*) so the shots get blurred. You should either use a tripod or raise the ISO.
And try not to shoot through windows.

*The "rule" is to get at least "1/focal length" (if possible: shorter) of a second of shutter speed in order to avoid camera shake if you aren't using a tripod. :wink:

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Oct 08, 2011 2:40 am 
Thanks guys, that's helpful.

I did take at sunrise and just after - it was overcast with some rain so not sure if that is adding to the focus problem or not (prob not) although more than likely me.

I did learn very quickly that you need to be comfortable in order to use the tripod. So will see if I can see what I am doing re the focus problem...taking tripod so that should help with any shake.

Interestingly enough number 3 was one of the later ones I had taken with 1 and 2 (in that order) being earlier...so I hope that number 3 is better due to something I was doing rather than luck, although looking at the others there did seem to be some improvement overall.

I think when I go out tomorrow I need to be more structured - I will take some baseline pics with auto and then see how they come out then make adjustments and then keep a note what I am using for what shots with any other comments so that I can refer back to see how I could have made a difference.

I was just getting the feel of the camera as first time I had picked it up so was trying different things with the lenses.

Your feedback is much appreciated as it has already highlighted to me a few things that I need to do in order to learn better.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Oct 08, 2011 5:02 am 
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Location: Germany
First of all: congrats that you mastered the image-posting part here flawlessly, Ziggy!
On a related note: If you could post all images like no 3 where the EXIF data from the shot are retained (like shutter-speed, ISO, etc.) it's much easier for us to understand what you should possibly correct or at least look out for. So try to upload images to photobucket just like you did with #3.
Thirdly: there is definitely sharpness missing in #1 and #2, either from shake do to long exposure and not stable mounting or through mis-focus. Can yo see this too? Assuming you did use AF try to see whether this problem persists in bright daylight (with correspondingly short shutter times, use a short focal length just to make sure there is no shake visible).

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Oct 09, 2011 3:48 am 
Thanks Thomas. It must have been due to shake. I wasn't using AF but MF so may also have been part of the problem.

Was out today and used the tripod and focus seemed much better...also used a mixture of AF and MF. I checked the settings on AF and if the pic wasn't exactly what I wanted I then used MF to adjust and see what the effect was which I found helpful. I think I managed to do better...and was pleased with quite a number. Think having a clear plan of what I wanted to achieve helped as I could focus.

Once I get them loaded up I will post one or two for comments.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Oct 09, 2011 6:56 am 
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MF on today's focus-screens is likely to fail as those are much too transparent (to make them look as bright as possible). As I said: try o understand, what AF can do for you and what influences the outcome. I personally have switched to a single central focus point because I don't trust the auto-area AF (as it's called by Nikon). So I point to the subject I want to have in sharp focus, half-press the shutter (keep it this way), then recompose and finally fully press the shutter.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Oct 09, 2011 11:52 am 
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Location: Speyer (Germany)
Thomas wrote:
So I point to the subject I want to have in sharp focus, half-press the shutter (keep it this way), then recompose and finally fully press the shutter.

Same procedure here.
If I'm focussing manually I'm using the magnified live view but the EOS 400D has no live view... :cry:

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Oct 09, 2011 6:40 pm 
No it doesn't but maybe that's not a bad thing for me at the mo....here's some from yesterday's trip out.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Oct 09, 2011 7:39 pm 
Ziggywigs,

Looks like you've been out having fun with your camera. Where about are the photos taken?

When posting photos its helpful if you can post some of the EXIF data that is included in the file.

Its possible to look it up if you have Exif Viewer installed but its a bit of a faff.

For instance in image 1 the following info is available

EXIF IFD0

Camera Make = Canon
Camera Model = Canon EOS 400D DIGITAL
Picture Orientation = normal (1)
X-Resolution = 72/1 ===> 72
Y-Resolution = 72/1 ===> 72
X/Y-Resolution Unit = inch (2)
Last Modified Date/Time = 2011:10:08 16:09:46
Y/Cb/Cr Positioning (Subsampling) = centered / center of pixel array (1)
Custom Rendered = normal process (0)
Exposure Mode = auto exposure (0)
White Balance = auto (0)
Scene Capture Type = standard (0)

EXIF Sub IFD

Exposure Time (1 / Shutter Speed) = 1/100 second ===> 0.01 second
Lens F-Number / F-Stop = 28/5 ===> ƒ/5.6
Exposure Program = landscape mode (8)
ISO Speed Ratings = 125
EXIF Version = 0221
Original Date/Time = 2011:10:08 16:09:46
Digitization Date/Time = 2011:10:08 16:09:46
Components Configuration = 0x01,0x02,0x03,0x00 / YCbCr
Shutter Speed Value (APEX) = 13301/2002
Shutter Speed (Exposure Time) = 1/100 second
Aperture Value (APEX) = 40761/8200
Aperture = ƒ/5.6
Exposure Bias (EV) = 0/1 ===> 0
Metering Mode = pattern / multi-segment (5)
Flash = Flash did not fire, compulsory flash mode
Focal Length = 75/1 mm ===> 75 mm
User Comment (Hex) = 0x41,0x53,0x43,0x49,0x49,0x00,0x00,0x00
User Comment Character Code = ASCII
User Comment =
FlashPix Version = 0100
Colour Space = sRGB (1)
Image Width = 2592 pixels
Image Height = 3888 pixels
Focal Plane X-Resolution = 432000/97 ===> 4453.61
Focal Plane Y-Resolution = 855626/193 ===> 4433.3
Focal Plane X/Y-Resolution Unit = inch (2)

EXIF IFD1

Compression = JPEG compression (6)
X-Resolution = 72/1 ===> 72
Y-Resolution = 72/1 ===> 72
X/Y-Resolution Unit = inch (2)

The key info I like to see is

Exposure Time 1/100 second
ISO Speed Ratings = 125
Aperture = ƒ/5.6

A lot can be ascertained from this info on how the camera is seeing the photo.

Image 1 is nicely composed but doesn't seem sharp. Your shooting in crappy light, typical October in Scotland. Remember cameras love light. Overcast and drizzly days will always make photos dull and drizzly.

This photo taken in good light will have looked a lot different.

Same for image 2.

ISO Speed Ratings = 200
Shutter Speed (Exposure Time) = 1/60 second
Aperture = ƒ/4.5
Focal Length = 18 mm


When composing an image its worth thinking about what it is that caught your eye in the first place. I doubt it was the dull drizzly sky so change the view by either changing the frame, zooming in or walking forwards.

I'm sorry but image 3 is a bit rubbish because of that bloody great big tree in the way. Just delete images like this, they are not worth keeping.

Same for images 4 and 5.

For image 5 if you had managed to get the leaves in the foreground framing the bridge then you could have had a really excellent image for the day, a nice autumnal scene.

But the leaves are completely in the way

I have the following written at the top of my crib sheet to remind me of key composition guidelines

Landscape or Portrait - Rule of Thirds – Simplify - Don't Amputate - Leading Lines - Fill the Frame - Watch for Aliens
Selective Focus or Colour – Frames - Watch the Background - Dramatic Angles or Lens Format - Emphasise Depth

They are taken from here http://photoinf.com/General/Theresa_Husarik/Photography_Tips_-_Composition_Refresher.htm

There are lots more here too http://photoinf.com/

Somewhere else for you to trawl through is http://www.kenrockwell.com/tech.htm. I quite like Ken's rants about equipment being the least important and composition being everything.

Hope this helps


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Oct 09, 2011 8:18 pm 
Thanks Ian.

These were taken at Rogie Falls, Contin.

I hadn't included the exif info on the post as I noted that others hadn't done this and knew that it could be obtained - albeit with a bit of a faff. Should I include all the information for each pic? Would it make the post unnecessarily lengthy?

It was a pretty wet day to be sure so plenty of water thundering down the falls. I wasn't sure how much impact the spray had in picture 1. Would the spray affect the sharpness for instance? Could I have done something to make the spray stand out more so that it was more defined?

Hehe Image 3 think I had posted the wrong pic here...that tree was a nuisance and I did take another one without the tree but the angle wasn't quite right and thought there was too much rock in the shot.

I couldn't work out what was not quite right with 5 - I could see the potential but couldn't see what was spoiling the shot. I agree that it's the leaves. I will need to be more aware of this when focusing on the shot.

Thanks for the links, they look to be helpful, I will have a read. Won't get out now until later in the week which is frustrating.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Oct 09, 2011 8:33 pm 
Quote:
I hadn't included the exif info on the post as I noted that others hadn't done this and knew that it could be obtained - albeit with a bit of a faff. Should I include all the information for each pic? Would it make the post unnecessarily lengthy?


I think it really helps to post the focal length of the lens, the ISO, the aperture and the shutter speed.

Quote:
It was a pretty wet day to be sure so plenty of water thundering down the falls. I wasn't sure how much impact the spray had in picture 1. Would the spray affect the sharpness for instance? Could I have done something to make the spray stand out more so that it was more defined?


Anything in the air is going to affect the clarity of the light. One of the key things you'll start to look at is the clarity of the light. You'll notice clear days and start to hate hazy days. Water in the air can be photographed but to do it you'll need plenty of light.

Something that is a good exercise to do is to go out to a location to try and capture something specific, to zero in on something and try and build an image around it. Capturing water in the air will be a hell of a challenge but who wants an easy life.

Quote:
I couldn't work out what was not quite right with 5 - I could see the potential but couldn't see what was spoiling the shot.


I'm a beginner too so understand this completely :?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Oct 09, 2011 8:42 pm 
Thanks Ian, that is most helpful I'll remember to include the 4 bits of data with any future posts.

I think when living in Scotland the weather is going to be a challenge...there seems to be too many hazy days. Lovely scenery but too much water.

Will try the exercise that you mention.


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