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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Critique Corner 
Thread started 01 Apr 2014 (Tuesday) 21:01
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Looking for Critiques and Advice. 550D + 18-55mm

 
felocar
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Location: Viña del Mar, Chile
     
Apr 01, 2014 21:01 |  #1

Hi!

This is my first post in this forum, Im an amateur photographer and got my first DSLR few months ago, after this cam I had a semipro Panasonic DMC-Fz25 and previously P&S Sony W30.

I currently shoot with a Canon 550D with kit lens 18-55mm.

This are the pics I feel would require some critiques and advice on, I have being doing lot of Photography Styles to learn the diferent techniques, but I think I can achieve better results.

#1

IMAGE: https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3792/13551490245_bf0aff45f8.jpg


Did several atemps on this one, trying to get it sharp but this was the best one, I would like to get sharper buildings, I think this might be a lens problem?

Taken after sunset.

30s
f/16
25mm
ISO 100

#2
IMAGE: https://farm3.staticflickr.com/2893/12337154804_f132293c9b.jpg

Various atemps also, at getting crisp lighting in the background, I think this has to do with my f number but I tried several combinations and didn't got it as I wanted it.

I also suspect of the lens.

2s
f/13
18mm
ISO 100

#3
IMAGE: https://farm3.staticflickr.com/2849/12777793225_b0dd4919aa.jpg

I was trying to capture the fire movement but got this flaring, also lens and f number suspect.

2.5s
f/3.5
18mm
ISO 100

Im quite happy with my lens I know is not close to being the best, but besides from focusing issues and this quality complains I think they work as purposed.

How do you think I could achieve better results in this scenarios?

Thanks in Advance!
You are also invited to check my other photos @flick.com/felocar (external link)

You're always invited to check my flickr gallerie: felocar (external link).
advice & critiques welcome.

  
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PhotosGuy
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Apr 01, 2014 22:52 |  #2

#1
Taken after sunset.

30s
f/16
25mm
ISO 100

What was the tripod on? You might have some vibration or wind blur that affected the sharpness. And since everything is at infinity, you could have used 8 sec @ f/8:
DOFMaster Depth of Field Calculator (external link) with apps for iphone, ipod, palm, android, windoze...


FrankC - 20D, RAW, Manual everything...
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joedlh
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Apr 02, 2014 07:55 |  #3

Nice job on the citiscape.

#2 has little visual interest. The dune seems very dark given the amount of light apparent in the area.

#3 I would get rid of the flare on the left. Try to drop the exposure some, as the flame is burned out so to speak.

Welcome to the forum.


Joe
Gear: Kodak Instamatic, Polaroid Swinger. Oh you meant gear now. :rolleyes:
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Editing ok

  
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nittaya
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Joined Jul 2013
Location: dubai
     
Apr 02, 2014 11:59 as a reply to  @ joedlh's post |  #4

the pictures in the link are not sharp. 18-55mm IS lens even though is kit lens but it is
pretty sharp and seldom has bad copies.

i agree with photoguy .google the link http://www.dofmaster.c​om/dofjs.html (external link) .




  
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jefzor
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Apr 03, 2014 23:56 |  #5

Maybe turn on IS for long exposures. How and where are you focusing for those shots.

I really like the first one. Second one would be nice if you could brighten up the dunes.


www.jefpauwels.be (external link)

  
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imagonman
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Location: NC
     
Apr 06, 2014 22:14 as a reply to  @ jefzor's post |  #6

I believe the 1st 2 are losing sharpness due to diffraction at those small f-stops. You don't need to go smaller than f-11 @ those distances & focal length combos to get sufficient DOF!

ALSO- in #2 a ND grad would help better balance the foregrd to sky/bkgrd exposure here.




  
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BigLobowski
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Apr 06, 2014 23:12 |  #7

jefzor wrote in post #16808564 (external link)
Maybe turn on IS for long exposures. How and where are you focusing for those shots.

I really like the first one. Second one would be nice if you could brighten up the dunes.

If using a tripod, you want to turn IS off, otherwise it will cause issues quite similar to the lack of sharpness in image #1. EXIF says manual focus for the first pic - did you possibly just miss focus? Or as Photosguy asked - possible vibration through the tripod? Nice composition - would have been a keeper if sharper.


- Ken
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kfreels
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Apr 08, 2014 01:03 |  #8

Even with a sharp lens and perfect technique, objects in the distance can be soft due to atmospheric distortion. Also, after f11 you can start to see diffraction. 30 second exposure can be a problem is the IS is on while you are on a tripod. A flimsy tripod can also cause problems. Otherwise, it's a nice shot. I think you're being too hard on yourself.

The dune shot is just blah. No real subject in the photo.A sandworm would be nice here. That background is a long way off. Getting it "crisp" will be difficult. You would need a nice cold dry day to do it. But really there isn't much back there to even worry about being sharp.

Now the candle.........Few things in your photo life will be more difficult than this shot that you want. The reason is something called dynamic range. Your camera can only capture about 10-12 stops of light. So to get the flame with the texture you want, you probably need to be at about 1/30 to 1/60 second. BUT if you do that, then the candle and everything else around it will be too dark because the light falls off really fast (according to the inverse square law). If you expose for everything else, then your flame washes out. So you are forced to do some tricky things.
One thing you can do is provide ambient or supplemental flash light to bring the base exposure up. But if you do that, you end up losing some of the "glow" from the flame. Your next option is to creatively control your flash or some kind of constant light source to provide a glowing light effect on top of the flame itself so that it mimics the glow of the flame while providing extra light to the subject. The 3rd way to do this is with multiple exposures - one for the flame and another for the candle and background with the glow. In this case you could layer one over the other in photoshop and then use a mask to paint out the overexposed flame and reveal the properly exposed flame. This would probably be the easiest method, but sometimes, especially if you had a model holding a candelabra, you just can't expect to get multiple shots that are exact enough to do this. So you have to resort to creative lighting.
For a few months you're doing well. Keep it up!


I am serious....and don't call me Shirley.
Canon 7D and a bunch of other stuff

  
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felocar
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Apr 11, 2014 20:37 |  #9

Hi again!

I have being reading all the coments daily but I was busy with some stuff at work to post a response inmediatly. Thanks to everyone! I have enjoyed your advice.

PhotosGuy wrote in post #16803191 (external link)
What was the tripod on? You might have some vibration or wind blur that affected the sharpness. And since everything is at infinity, you could have used 8 sec @ f/8:
DOFMaster Depth of Field Calculator (external link) with apps for iphone, ipod, palm, android, windoze...

Thanks for the info, I used 30s for the light effect, I will read and study DOF, as I understand it but dont really apply it in my photos, I think that might be the issue, and thanks for the link, I downloaded the app for my phone!

imagonman wrote in post #16814955 (external link)
I believe the 1st 2 are losing sharpness due to diffraction at those small f-stops. You don't need to go smaller than f-11 @ those distances & focal length combos to get sufficient DOF!

ALSO- in #2 a ND grad would help better balance the foregrd to sky/bkgrd exposure here.

Thanks for the advice I will check the f situation with diffraction.

BigLobowski wrote in post #16815043 (external link)
If using a tripod, you want to turn IS off, otherwise it will cause issues quite similar to the lack of sharpness in image #1. EXIF says manual focus for the first pic - did you possibly just miss focus? Or as Photosguy asked - possible vibration through the tripod? Nice composition - would have been a keeper if sharper.

Thanks, yes IS was on, for the manual focus I use liveview with 10x magnification on a building in the middle.

It might be vibration but I didnt use a tripod as I dont have one, only placed the cam on a flat piece of wood I found and used my wallet to regulate angle, so it was quite sturdy I think, maybe wind or maybe all the earthquakes we are having! a small one ocurring when my pic was taken haha!

kfreels wrote in post #16817869 (external link)
Even with a sharp lens and perfect technique, objects in the distance can be soft due to atmospheric distortion.

I was thinking something like this also, maybe something but I remember that day being clear.

kfreels wrote in post #16817869 (external link)
Now the candle.........Few things in your photo life will be more difficult than this shot that you want. The reason is something called dynamic range. Your camera can only capture about 10-12 stops of light. So to get the flame with the texture you want, you probably need to be at about 1/30 to 1/60 second. BUT if you do that, then the candle and everything else around it will be too dark because the light falls off really fast (according to the inverse square law). If you expose for everything else, then your flame washes out. So you are forced to do some tricky things.
One thing you can do is provide ambient or supplemental flash light to bring the base exposure up. But if you do that, you end up losing some of the "glow" from the flame. Your next option is to creatively control your flash or some kind of constant light source to provide a glowing light effect on top of the flame itself so that it mimics the glow of the flame while providing extra light to the subject. The 3rd way to do this is with multiple exposures - one for the flame and another for the candle and background with the glow. In this case you could layer one over the other in photoshop and then use a mask to paint out the overexposed flame and reveal the properly exposed flame. This would probably be the easiest method, but sometimes, especially if you had a model holding a candelabra, you just can't expect to get multiple shots that are exact enough to do this. So you have to resort to creative lighting.
For a few months you're doing well. Keep it up!

Thanks for this!, I might try multiple exposures.

To all,

Thanks a lot for your advice, I will study DOF as I think this is something Im not considering at my pics and might improve a lot the quality.

As for my Lens I have been experiencing some issues with the 18-55, slow and inaccurate focus, harsh barrel movement (I think there's some sand in there) and I found dust in the inside elements, I have being reading how to clean it so as for now im looking foward to get my hands on some compressed air.

As this happend, this week just took some experimental photos. Like this one.

IMAGE: https://farm3.staticflickr.com/2936/13749263715_f029508b33.jpg



To correct this lens problem... :D I got a pair of new ones from amazon today, a 'Tokina 11-16 f/2.8' and a 'Canon 50mm f/1.8', and a few other stuff to play with*, Expecting this to arrive in a few weeks! very excited.


*Hoya ND32 Filter
*Hoya CPL Filter
*Timelapse Timer
*Holga Lens? just for curiosity.
*M42 adapter to use with a very old Helios 44mm f2 lens I have. (external link)


Have a good weekend everyone! There's a big regatta this weekend here so I will try to get some nice pics with my newly acquired DOF knowledge :D

You're always invited to check my flickr gallerie: felocar (external link).
advice & critiques welcome.

  
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BigLobowski
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Apr 11, 2014 21:10 as a reply to  @ felocar's post |  #10

Here's a quick clip that explains why you should turn off IS with the camera mounted/placed in a sturdy position:

http://www.youtube.com​/watch?v=jmd2Qq-kUdk (external link)


- Ken
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Looking for Critiques and Advice. 550D + 18-55mm
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