I can't top the nude photos but...

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by LaLO929, Mar 27, 2009.

  1. LaLO929

    LaLO929 TPF Noob!

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    Maybe some of you help me understand why my photos a lot of time seem out of focus. I don't want to say always because I do get a few good shots in. Do I need to use a tripod for everything? Its seems a bit extreme but a lot of my shots seem to be blurred or basically out of focus (I use auto focus). I want to get crisp, clear photos. This even happens in auto mode. The only time it doesn't is when I use the flash which I don't always want to do. Do I need a better lens? Here are some examples...

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    (Side note: I am done reading my manual, and I am now reading the Nikon D200 Booklet. I have the book Understanding Exposure to read next.)
     
  2. Big Mike

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

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    Your problem is most likely motion blur.

    When the shutter is open, it records motion as blur...the longer the shutter speed and the faster the movement...the more blur you get. Also, a faster shutter speed can freeze the movement and give you less blur.

    Now, you need to realize that when you are holding the camera in your hands...it's never going to be perfectly still....so you have 'camera shake'.
    At slower shutter speeds, that camera shake turns into blur.

    The rule of thumb, is that you want your shutter speed to be as fast as your lens's focal length. For example, if you lens is at 100mm...then you will want a shutter speed of at least 1/100. And faster is better.

    The problem with this, is that when the light levels are low...you may need longer shutter speeds for your exposure. In auto mode, the camera will probably set the lens to the largest aperture but once you reach that largest aperture setting...the next thing it does is slow down the shutter speed....so you need to keep an eye on it.

    Fortunately, there is another option. You can turn up the ISO...this will increase the shutter speed. The trade off is more digital noise...but that's better than blur.

    Another 'better' option is to get a different lens. One with a larger maximum aperture, so that it can let in more light and allow you to get faster shutter speeds in low light. A common recommendation is the 50mm F1.8 lens. (F 1.8 is much larger than F3.5 to 5.6)
     
  3. lockwood81

    lockwood81 TPF Noob!

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    As Mike said...
    All of those photos are using a very slow shutter speed...

    1. 1/10
    2. 1/6
    3. 1/6
    4. 1/5
    5. 1/25

    So you are getting camera shake and the subject can move in that time frame, you just need more light, try to get the baby near an open window during the day or something. (the flash is sharp because the shutter speed is much higher with it on.)
     
  4. Big Mike

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

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    Actually, the flash shots are sharp because the flash burst is much faster than the shutter speed, thus freezing the subject. In full auto mode, the camera will probably set a default shutter speed of 1/60 when the flash is activated. Shutter speed has no bearing on the exposure from the flash.
     
  5. NucleaRR

    NucleaRR TPF Noob!

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    Like lockwood said the shutter speeds are very low. A good rule of thumb to go by is to not shoot lower that 1/60 when holding the camera. Below 1/60 you have to be really stable to get the shot without camera shake.
     

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