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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Critique Corner 
Thread started 12 Jul 2012 (Thursday) 03:37
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Looking for a little CC

 
alazgr8
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Jul 12, 2012 03:37 |  #1

Hi fella's,

I have a 40d and I am trying to improve my photograpy, by making my own choices instead of depending on the "green box". I have Photoshop Essentials, but have not spent any time working with it. So take a look and tell me what I need to do to improve my images.

Regards,

Rick


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Rick S.
My Gear = Canon 50d ~ EF 100 f/2.8L IS USM Macro ~ EF 100-400 f/4.5-5.6L IS USM ~ EF-S 17-55 IS USM f/2.8 IS ~ EF 70-300 f/4-5.6 IS USM ~ EF 28-135 IS f/3.5-5.6 IS USM

  
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Hawk's ­ Feather
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Jul 12, 2012 09:21 |  #2

While not going into "great detail" one thing that I think would help is if you use the spot focusing; have the camera focus on the eyes, depress the shutter to lock, and the adjust your shot. The first two images seem to have focused on the left shoulder (first image) and the pacifier (second image). I realize that with a moving baby this is easier said than done. The ISO of 800, especially when you used your flash in the last image, seems high to me. I can understand it when you are shooting available light, but not flash.


Jerry
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jetcode
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Jul 12, 2012 12:18 |  #3

Rick I recommend taking photography classes at the local junior college. It will open your head in pleasant ways.




  
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joedlh
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Jul 12, 2012 12:45 |  #4

The best shot is the smiling one, I think. But clone out that white orb next to the cheek. The left eye being out of focus bothers me a bit. I'm not a big fan of lying down subjects. It always makes me tilt my head in order to see the face. The pacifier is a good idea. However, the light source shouldn't be in the shot and you needed a greater depth of field in order to get the eyes in focus too. In general, I wouldn't crop as tightly as you have. I don't like to cut off the tops of heads. That's just me.


Joe
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Editing ok

  
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alazgr8
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Jul 12, 2012 13:16 |  #5

Man, You guys are good. You brought up points I didn't have a clue about when taking my shots. The truth is I set my camera at 800 ISO and left it there never giving it a second thought about adjusting it for different lighting condition. The biggest problem I am facing, is that I am still trying to learn my camera. How do you guys know what focal length and ISO I am using?

Regards,

Rick


Rick S.
My Gear = Canon 50d ~ EF 100 f/2.8L IS USM Macro ~ EF 100-400 f/4.5-5.6L IS USM ~ EF-S 17-55 IS USM f/2.8 IS ~ EF 70-300 f/4-5.6 IS USM ~ EF 28-135 IS f/3.5-5.6 IS USM

  
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jetcode
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Jul 12, 2012 13:20 |  #6

After a while you can stand in a scene and know exactly what shutter speed, focal length, and ISO to use. There are only so many choices and the scenes limit those choices. The scenes repeat with practice. Everyone thinks they can learn photography on their own and become a master. The few that have managed this path spent their lifetime mastering the craft. The fastest path is to get an education first. It really matters.




  
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alazgr8
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Jul 12, 2012 13:37 |  #7

I took phootography classes about 30 years ago, when I was using my Canon AE-1. I was really dedicated to my photography back then, but kids, work, and other hobbies got in the way, and I lost my passion. I now have grandkids (my subject matter above) and my passion has been re-ignited. I recently bought my 40d, and a couple of lenses, and I want to learn my camera so I can take carefully crafted, above average photo's.

Thanks for your positive criticism, and encouragement.

Rick


Rick S.
My Gear = Canon 50d ~ EF 100 f/2.8L IS USM Macro ~ EF 100-400 f/4.5-5.6L IS USM ~ EF-S 17-55 IS USM f/2.8 IS ~ EF 70-300 f/4-5.6 IS USM ~ EF 28-135 IS f/3.5-5.6 IS USM

  
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Hawk's ­ Feather
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Jul 12, 2012 14:22 |  #8

Rick,

There is Exif data attached to images. Depending on the method of processing and also uploading it is visible to the viewer. Your first two images and the last have somewhat complete data while the third one does not. I use a program for Macintosh called Exif Everywhere and I can hold down the control key and mouse over an image and get the data.

While the cameras have changed since the AE-1, the ideas of composition and lighting have not really changed all that much. There are some decent books and online things about composition that might help catch you back up to speed. Personally, I have the most trouble with shooting family members since I tend to "see" what I want to "see" (namely the family member) and not notice other things in the image till after I push the shutter. The bright white light by your grandchild's head in the second image is a good example of this. You look and see the grandchild and don't really notice that the light was in the image till later.

The best thing that is helping me is practice. Get one of the grandkids and start shooting. Move them around from place to place (shade, sun, indoors, etc.) and take a few images at each place. As you are doing this, think more on composition and lighting than who is in the picture.

Get to know your Photoshop program better - either from online tutorials or books. It will not turn an out of focus image to a "tack" sharp image, but it will allow you to slightly darken bright spots that you could not eliminate by taking the image from another angle.

Enjoy shooting!


Jerry
Jerry Latta Photography (external link)

  
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alazgr8
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Jul 12, 2012 21:22 |  #9

@ Hawk's Feather/JL, How do I access the Exif data? Btw, I was on your website, you do great work!!

When spot focusing on image #1 & #2, do I put the focus box on an eye, or between the eye's? Also, just to make sure I understand what you are talking about, spot focusing is the black dot with the (+) brackets on both sides of the dot? Or press the right button, and select just one red box? My apologies to you for these are basic questions, but better to ask a dumb question and be embarassed once, than to repeat the same error over and again.

Regards,

Rick


Rick S.
My Gear = Canon 50d ~ EF 100 f/2.8L IS USM Macro ~ EF 100-400 f/4.5-5.6L IS USM ~ EF-S 17-55 IS USM f/2.8 IS ~ EF 70-300 f/4-5.6 IS USM ~ EF 28-135 IS f/3.5-5.6 IS USM

  
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Hawk's ­ Feather
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Jul 13, 2012 11:07 |  #10

Rick,

Thanks for the compliment on the website work. It is a work in progress.

Below are my answers to your questions, but I would add the disclaimer that I am not claiming to know all the answers – just giving you what little I know. : )

Exif data is usually stored with each image – even if you don’t do any special settings. This information goes along with the image from the camera to the processing program (iPhoto, Lightroom, Photoshop, Essentials, etc.) and can be accessed in different places. Since I have never used Essentials, I don’t know where to tell you to look for it, but check the “view” etc. in the menu bar and see if any say anything like Exif or photo information.

http://exifdata.com/ (external link) This is a link to a website that will allow you to upload an image and see the data that is available. Just click on it, chose a file (like one of the ones you posted here) and click upload. It is surprising what information is stored there. (If you want to quickly do this, just click and hold on your first image, drag it to the desktop, and then upload that image. Depending where you have your images stored this might be easier that finding the original image.)

Normally I try to focus on the eye that is closest to the camera since it is the one that is first noticed. If it is a straight shot (without one eye or the other being closer) either will work. Remember, the lower the f/number you are using the less that there will be in focus. Normally on portrait type shots you want the subject in focus and some blur in the background to call attention to the subject. I found an app called Field Tools that shows the depth of field for different cameras and lens. I don’t use it all the time, but it is sometimes interesting to see how small the depth of field is with a lens.

I set my camera to read one (usually the center) spot for focusing. I do this since I am usually having it focus on one item: person’s eye, spot in a landscape, etc. Sometimes, seldom but sometimes, if I am going to be shooting landscapes I will change that to pick up additional areas. Usually I will just look at the f/stop setting and will have an idea about how much will be in focus and still use the spot focusing.

When I got my 50D I bought the Canon EOS 50D Digital Field Guide by Charlotte K. Lowrie and it has quite a bit of information in it. She also has one for the 40D that is listed on Amazon. http://www.amazon.com …Field-Guide/dp/0470260440 (external link) You can get an inside peek at some of the pages to see if it looks like something that would help of if it is not needed. There should be some used ones if you start looking.


Jerry
Jerry Latta Photography (external link)

  
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alazgr8
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Jul 17, 2012 20:46 |  #11

Hi Jerry,

Thanks for the time and info you have shared with me. I am going to buy the book you suggested.

Regards,

Rick


Rick S.
My Gear = Canon 50d ~ EF 100 f/2.8L IS USM Macro ~ EF 100-400 f/4.5-5.6L IS USM ~ EF-S 17-55 IS USM f/2.8 IS ~ EF 70-300 f/4-5.6 IS USM ~ EF 28-135 IS f/3.5-5.6 IS USM

  
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Looking for a little CC
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