Happy Father's Day to all the Dad's out there!

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Aayria, Jun 21, 2010.

  1. Aayria

    Aayria TPF Noob!

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    Here are a few shots from our Father's Day =) We had a wonderful, relaxing day with Daddy. The kids made cards, we baked a cake, played at the park, and ordered Dad's favorite pizza. After which the kids SLEPT (yay!) and we watched sci-fi movies together :lol:

    I wanted to post a few shots for C&C. I've been focussing (pun intended ha!) on getting my subjects in better, sharper focus lately, and that was the primary goal of these shots. The main thing I'd like to change in these is how closely they are cropped. I didn't fit everything in the frame I wanted, but by golly I *think* my focus is improving at least:mrgreen:

    Any C&C is welcome on the pictures or on the post processing. I just installed my copy of LR 3 after playing around with beta the past couple weeks. Thanks as always!

    1)

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    2)

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    3)

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    4)

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    5)

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  2. myfotoguy

    myfotoguy TPF Noob!

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    Nice set, I like 'em. Sounds like you all had a wonderful day, that's so nice.

    Yep, you did good with the focus and sharpness. I think the cropping works, fun memories I would be happy with these. I suppose 3 and 4 are a little tight, maybe slightly pulled back with more weight in the direction they are gazing. I don't now though, it depends on what's around them and if those elements distract from those precious faces!

    Nice work! :)

    Oh, love those eyese in no. 1 and the pose and expression in no. 2
     
  3. PerfectlyFlawed

    PerfectlyFlawed TPF Noob!

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    Absolutely wonderful :) love them!
     
  4. Audell

    Audell TPF Noob!

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    I love them. Very cute kids. I agree with the crop issue, but they are really sharp. Awesome job.
     
  5. nchips1

    nchips1 TPF Noob!

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    The eyelashes in the last one -- Wow.
     
  6. Aayria

    Aayria TPF Noob!

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    Wow, thanks for all the positive feedback! I am so thrilled that it isn't just my eyes feeling like these were sharp. Improvement wooooot!!!:mrgreen:

    myphotoguy- funny you should mention that you like the pose in number 2. My son is six, and all I said to him was "would you like to take some pictures by this tree for Mommy?" He posed himself! I think perhaps he has been watching me study photography on the computer a tad bit too much :lol:

    On the plus side, though, I think I have a workable and willing-to-stay-put-for-pictures model of my own to practice with! ;)

    Oh and the eye lashes in the last one were my favorite too.. all of my kiddos have had absolutely gorgeous eyelashes when they're young, and I was so excited to finally get a picture that really brings them out. Photography is so incredibly fun..even on days when it feels like I'm having a hard time getting things down, every time I shoot it seems like I learn something new. =)
     
  7. myfotoguy

    myfotoguy TPF Noob!

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    I'm curious to hear, for the benefit of other readers, what did you do to improve your focusing?

    I often suggest to photographers to turn off dynamic focus area and use the focus selector and place the focus selection on one of the eyes.

    What do you think contributed to your improvement?

    Congratulations on the exciting results and improvements you're experiencing! :)
     
  8. Aayria

    Aayria TPF Noob!

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    Sure, I can try to share what I've been doing to help!

    First, I stopped being as concerned about my "blur effect" in all my pictures. I love pictures with a great shallow depth of field, but I kind of put the cart before the horse when my 1.4 50mm came in the mail a couple months back and kept it almost always wide open. While I'd sometimes get nice results this way, more often than not I was missing my focus in about 90% of my pictures.

    Actually, it was a poster from here- KmH, who kind of inspired me a coupe weeks back. I made getting the subject in FOCUS priority over everything else.

    So I started taking more pictures with as much light as possible, forgetting about other factors like "low noise" and "brokeh" and went strictly FOCUS. If I had to shoot indoors, I bumped the ISO way up to 1600 or 2000 at times so I didn't have to worry about shutter speeds getting to low. And I started shooting with an F-Stop around 4-5.6 and gradually worked my way down.

    I was discovering that the blur effect I liked was much more related to the distance of my camera and the subject than just how wide open my aperture was. And I was also finding that I enjoyed seeing images that were crisp, wether they had "that blur" or not.

    As I gradually worked my way down the F-Stops, I was also discovering that my lens is MUCH sharper and crisp than I ever realized when a picture truly is in focus. This allowed me to train my eyes to recognize better when a picture was actually in focus or just a tad soft.

    Once I was comfortable at higher F-stops, I started trying to shoot with a constant 2.8, still keeping my shutter speeds fast with either a high ISO, or lots of outdoor natural lighting.

    You can get the idea from there... I just had SO much going through my head every time I took a picture before, that I wasn't getting anything 100% where I wanted it to be. So taking a few steps back and just picking one or two things to emphasize actually made everything else fall together.

    For my actual technique when focussing, I keep the camera on AF-C and highlight the center focus point in my viewfinder. I don't like to use the outside points, because on the D5000, the center is the strongest. I just focus there, press the shutter halfway and then lock my focus while I recompose and shoot. Even for the action shots of my kids, this method is ussually fast enough with a good shutter speed to catch them if I'm using fast glass.

    I also have been trying to use manual focus a bit more. The camera lights up red in the viewfinder when you've focussed correctly manually, and I found that for some shots this was easier to work with than AF.

    I hope that made sense.. For me the biggest thing was just putting into practice what I was learning, one step at a time. I try to approach photography like I approach a musical instrument... practice the scales until they are second nature to you, and then the concertos and other pieces will flow much more easily and correctly.
     
  9. vtf

    vtf No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    :thumbup: The eyes are popping better now, Good job!
     
  10. Ron Evers

    Ron Evers Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Nicely done. I agree crops are a bit tight.
     
  11. RobNZ

    RobNZ TPF Noob!

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    I use the exact same method for 95% of my stuff, much better hit rate I find, kind of a semi manual auto focus so to speak.

    Really really nice pics, eyes are nice and sharp. Well done :thumbup:
     
  12. myfotoguy

    myfotoguy TPF Noob!

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    Great info on what is helping you improve, good stuff!
     

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