Help - New Camera in hands of a Newbie

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Fatony, Nov 1, 2008.

  1. Fatony

    Fatony TPF Noob!

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    Hi guys,
    I got sick of buying crappy digi cams so I decided to get the new Canon EOS 1000D.

    To understand a bit more about the options, I watched the training programme on yourtube about SLR cameras.

    Anyways, I took it for a first spin yesterday on a work trip. I took a few pictures but one of them really caught my eye.

    [​IMG]

    I had my camera on FullAuto...

    Can some one explain to me what the camera did to make the guy blurry at the back and concentrated mainly on the person in the middle? If I want a similar picture without full auto - what settings should i apply to my AV option.

    looking forward to comments.
     
  2. Fatony

    Fatony TPF Noob!

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    Oh no, I posted it in the wrong section. Mods can you move it to this section please:
    "Photography Beginners' Forum & Photo Gallery"
    my mistake.. sorry
     
  3. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Well first off in full auto the camera can only guess at wher you want in focuse - in this case its picked the man in the middle (and a bit of the corner of the chair too).
    Then it takes a meter reading - assums with shutter speed that you are handholding - and selects an aperture and shutter speed (I think you set ISO even in auto mode) based on the light around and its idea of a good exposure.

    So in this case its gone for a larger aperture, which means a shallower depth of field - ie the guy in the back is now out of the plane of focus - he is not sharp.

    To understand this better go to the photo - right click on it - go to its properties - then the details tab - scroll down and you should find a set of values for Aperture, shutter speed and ISO.
    With those details post them back here and we can see what settings were used and how by the camera.

    Also since this is new to you I urge you to find a copy of Understanding Exposure by Bryan Peterson - its a great book and will tell you the relationship between ISO, aperture and shutter speed - as well as taking good exposures and being creating with exposure settings as well.
     
  4. Fatony

    Fatony TPF Noob!

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    Thanks Overread,
    Well explained. I have attached the properties of the pic below.

    [​IMG]

    I will also try and find that book / ebook by Bryan Peterson.

    Thanks
     
  5. LaFoto

    LaFoto Just Corinna in real life Staff Member Supporting Member

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    No problem. It's been done :D.
    Welcome to ThePhotoForum and to the world of photography :D !!!
     
  6. TamiyaGuy

    TamiyaGuy No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    The thing that makes the photo blurry is the aperture, or F-stop. This is a variable sized hole in the lens that lets light pass through it and onto the image sensor. Long story short, no aperture, no photo :). This also means that the larger the hole, the more light is let onto the sensor/film, and thus the faster the shutter speed will be. One last thing it controls is depth of field (or DOF). This is the amount of the photograph that is in sharp focus, and the amount that is blurred. The larger the aperture diameter, the shallower the DOF (the less is in focus). Bear in mind, however, that DOF is measured in distance from the camera i.e. if you took a photograph of, say, your carpet from 90 degrees perpendicular to the carpet, no matter how large your aperture was, it would all be in focus. However, take that same photo from 45 degrees, and the carpet would gradually blur out.

    Now, this is where it gets a little tricky. Aperture is measured in F-numbers; the lens' focal length divided by the aperture diameter. This means that a larger aperture diameter is a SMALLER F-number, and likewise, a smaller aperture is a larger F-number. For this reason, if you want to get that blurred background effect, you should try and set your F-number as small as possible (on your lens it should be between f/3.5 and f/5.6, although some lenses go up to f/1.2!). On the same note, if you want all of the photo to be in focus, try setting it to the largest F-number you can get. However, there is a comprimise to all of this. A larger f-number means everything is in focus (or nearly everything), but it also means that you will have a very slow shutter speed. Likewise, a smaller f-number means you need to have a faster shutter speed to get a "proper" exposure. Also, lenses don't perform their best at the extremes of their aperture range, so if nothing else at all cares to you except image quality, you should set the lens to a mid-range aperture (something in the region of f/8-f/13, usually).

    Phew, sorry, wall of text :confused:
     
  7. Fatony

    Fatony TPF Noob!

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    :lol:
    Thank you very much Tamiyaguy, you brits are good at explaining.

    Another point I found in the camera is that the longer the shutter speed is, the blurrier the image is... maybe because it should be on a tripod?

    I'll go and give the DoF option a play maybe It'll help me grab good images :)

    Thanks
     
  8. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    the general rule of thumb is that your shutter speed should be 1/your focal length.
    so say you were shooting with a 100mm you shutter speed should be (at slowest) 1/100sec.

    that said it generally should always be at or above 1/60sec for any lens when hand holding - slower is possible, but requires good support when handholding. Shooting 1/60sec with a 300mm for example is too slow and you willl get blur - so you need 1/300sec idealy.

    Again these are not strickt rules, but a general guidline for achiving a sharp shot
     
  9. Chillaxed

    Chillaxed TPF Noob!

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    if you have a zoom lens, usually the more you zoom in, hte more it will start to blur the background or foreground around whatever is in focus. think of your eyes, you look at a tree and its normal, but the closer you get to an object the more out of focus everything else becomes. not sure if that was a good analogy or not...
     

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