Blurry Images?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Ked1986, Jan 7, 2010.

  1. Ked1986

    Ked1986 TPF Noob!

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    Hello-I am very new to photography-I just purchased my first dslr camera, a canon eos rebel xsi...I have been playing around with it set on manual mode because I really want to move out of auto but I am having a really hard time producing images that are either well lit or not blurry..I'm not sure if I understand the operations correctly but I have been using a low aperture (since I am trying to photograph my 4 month old son indoors with pretty poor lighting..) and then adusting the shutter speed to what my camera recommends so I can have a properly exposed image. What the result is though is a really blurry image (because my son is moving) in a well lit environment. I don't know what to do because I have to work with the lighting I have..When I increase the shutter speed the photo is very dark..Am I missing something? Do I need artificial lighting? I am not using a flash...Any help would be most appreciated? Thank you!!
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2010
  2. CSR Studio

    CSR Studio TPF Noob!

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    Anything below 1/60 will be a problem both with subject movement and camera movement. Sounds like you need more light, move him over to a window so that your shutter speed is higher than 1/60, preferably 1/125, add a reflector or use a flash. Once it gets warmer you can go outside and the problem should be taken care of by the sunlight.
     
  3. gsgary

    gsgary Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    it sounds like your lenses are not fast enough ( meaning wide aperture F1.8) you also have to make your iso higher.
    What camera and lens are you using ?
     
  4. Ked1986

    Ked1986 TPF Noob!

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    Im using a Canon EOS Rebel XSi (450D) W/ 18-55 IS Lens..i guess I still don't understand how the lens effects it..the lowest aperture I can use is like 5.0..
     
  5. bigtwinky

    bigtwinky No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I'm thinking its motion blur and not out of focus as at some point, if the light is too low, there is no way for your to freeze the movement fully. Options are to open your aperture wider, use a flash or increase your ISO.

    You can pick up a 50mm f/1.8 for around $100 which should help with the aperture. Although with a 1.8 aperture, if you fill your frame with your subjects face, the nose might be in focus and the ears not due to the shallow depth of field.

    On the XSI (which I have), thats an ISO of 1600, but its pretty fugly with lots of noise. I try to not go over 400, 800 if I have software to reduce noise in post processing.

    A flash would work, bouncing it off the ceilings or something to reduce the harshness of the light. Bringing in other lights into the room could be another solution
     
  6. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Welcome to the forum.

    Firstly, there is nothing wrong with using the auto modes P, Av, & Tv. It's OK to use manual mode too, but if you are just adjusting manual mode to what the camera's meter says...then you are just going to get the same photo as the auto modes...so why not use the one that's easier?

    One benefit of manual mode is that you can adjust the exposure away from the recommended value but you can also do that in the auto modes by use EC (exposure compensation).

    The problems you are having are due to a few factors. Firstly, is a lack of light. We think that most indoor locations are well lit, but that's because our eyes adjust very easily. A camera can't be fooled though, and the lighting is probably rather dark compared to natural daylight.

    The three things that control exposure are; aperture, shutter speed and ISO.
    A larger aperture (lower F number) lets in more light but every lens has it's limits...and I'm guessing you have the 18-55mm lens, which is quite limited because it's maximum aperture isn't very big. That's one problem, you lens isn't ideal for low light photography.

    So if you're limited by the aperture, the next thing to adjust is the shutter speed...which you have done. The problem is that the shutter speed controls how motion is captured. The slower the shutter speed, the more that motion (either by the camera or the subject) the more blur you will get. If your little guy is moving around, you probably want to keep a minimum shutter speed of 1/60, maybe even 1/90 or faster.
    So if you combine that those shutter speeds with your limited maximum aperture....you just don't have enough exposure for the light you are in.
    The next option is to turn up the ISO. This will allow you to use faster shutter speeds (or just get more exposure out of the speed you are using). So you might be OK if you crank it up to 800 or 1600 etc. The problem with this, is that higher ISO gives you digital noise. That is often better than blur, but it's up to you to decide.

    Ideally, you could just add more light. Maybe in the form of flash or maybe just by turning on more lights or getting close to a window (during the day).
    Another option would be to get a lens with a larger maximum aperture. For example, the Canon 50mm F1.8 has a max aperture of F1.8, which is much larger than F3.5 and a whole lot larger than F5.6.

    Using the on-camera flash will probably solve your exposure problems, but the light from that flash is very flat and boring. That is one big reason why an accessory flash is nice to have, because you can tilt the flash up and bounce it off the walls or ceiling, giving you nice soft light, and plenty of light for your exposure. Not to mention that a flash burst is very fast, which will freeze the movement of your subject.
     
  7. Ked1986

    Ked1986 TPF Noob!

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  8. bigtwinky

    bigtwinky No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    The widest aperture at 55mm is 5.0
    I think the widest aperture at 18mm is 4.5?

    The wider the aperture, the more light is let in, the faster shutter speed you can get. Its called the law of reciprocity.

    ISO staying the same...If you get perfect exposure at say f8.0, shutter 1/20:

    You will also get perfect exposure at f/11.0 and 1/10
    You will also get perfect exposure at f/5.6 and 1/40
    You will also get perfect exposure at f/4.0 and 1/80
    You will also get perfect exposure at f/2.8 and 1/160
    You will also get perfect exposure at f/2.0 and 1/320

    ISO plays a roll in this as well where that if you increase the ISO, you increase the sensitivity of the light sensors and it will allow you a faster shutter speed, at the expense of more noise
    f/5.6 - 1/40 - ISO 100
    f/5.6 - 1/80 - ISO 200
    f/5.6 - 1/160 - ISO 400

    Its the exposure triangle.
     
  9. Ked1986

    Ked1986 TPF Noob!

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    Could you send me a link for the kind of flash you are recommending?? Thanks so much for that detailed answer..very helpful!!
     
  10. bigtwinky

    bigtwinky No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    It will allow a much wider aperture than your kit lens (1.8 compared to the 5.0 you currently get at 50mm with your lens) which will allow more light to enter which in turn will allow a faster shutter.
     
  11. iskoos

    iskoos TPF Noob!

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    Why using manual mode when you are not ready for it?:)
    There are many other modes on that camera between the auto and the manual modes. Big Mike told you pretty much all about it...
     
  12. Ked1986

    Ked1986 TPF Noob!

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    I'm trying to learn how to shoot in manual...I'm aware of the other option like aperture priority, etc...but I figured I might as well learn on full manual from the start since that's the way I want to end up shooting most of the time.
     

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