In need of some disection here...

Discussion in 'The Professional Gallery' started by JaimeGibb, Jul 25, 2008.

  1. JaimeGibb

    JaimeGibb TPF Noob!

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    Ok...let me start with the explanation of these photos. My boyfriend, Brian, is a musician in a band with another guy, Shane (Check them out at www.teamtrance.com and download free music!! Haha). They wanted me to try and take some promo shots. I wanted this scheduled around 6:30 as to avoid harsh lighting. However, of COURSE, we pull up and a huge storm cloud is hovering overhead. Now evening light alone = great lighting. A cloudy day alone also = great lighting. But mix clouds AND evening?! It was almost as if it was 8:00.

    So again: 6:30-7:00 PM with a cloud covered sky.
    No tripod
    Using aperture priority
    Mainly using Sigma 70-200mm, interspersed with Canon 85mm and my kit lens with a wide angle attachment.

    Here are the SOOC results...completely untouched, not even cropped yet:

    1) 70-200mm; I was laying on my car hood below, about 20 feet away.
    [​IMG]
    2) Kit lens with wide angle attachment. That light coming in is a car headlight; we thought it may give a cool effect.
    [​IMG]
    3) I believe this was also my 70-200mm, but could be the 85mm...
    [​IMG]

    Now for the problem: THEY SUCK! When zoomed in, they are noisy, especially number one, which is everyones favorite but its so noisy! And, Brian, the one crouched down, is out of focus. In the second, it's just fuzzy and noisy. The third, Bri is out of focus again. Which isnt really BAD, Shane, the bald guy, is the singer/songwriter so its not odd to have that guy be the only in focus guy but...I didnt PLAN for that photo to be that way...know what I mean? So Im assuming I should have set my exposure differently...Im assuming they are noisy because a high ISO was needed with the lighting...maybe I should have had a tripod...Bah. ALSO, I have a Speedlight flash attached to my camera, but I wasnt really sure how to use it in this situation! There was nothing to bounce the light off of, it didnt reach the guys when they were on top of the trailor, and if it was right in their faces they were blown out. But without it, the pics were fuzzy.

    I am going to be reshooting this and I basically would LOVE you r guys' opinions on 1) what went wrong during this shoot, and 2) how I can improve and totally rock the reshoot? How can I effectivly use my flash? And how should my camera settings be? Hopefully the next shoot wont be in these same weather conditions...

    You guys are amazing and I really appreciate your comments, both good and bad, thats how I learn!! So bring it on!!!
     
  2. Big Mike

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

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    Definitely some potential here, but yes, they could certainly be better.

    You are on the right track with the head lights. Off camera lighting gives form to your models and can add a dramatic effect. If you are shooting outdoor, you might try underexposing the ambient light and then using flash to light them up. This can be really cool with cloudy days because it can give the sky a menacing feel.
    So if you put those things together, you would underexpose the ambient light, then use 'off camera flash' to light them up.

    If you don't have a way of getting your flash, off your camera...I suggest finding a way. There are many threads here about how to do that. It really is one of the biggest things you can do to improve your photography.

    Obviously, it's important to use an aperture that will give you the DOF you need for the shot.

    Lastly, don't forget about processing & editing the images afterward. With this type of photography, you will probably have a lot more freedom to do some heavy editing. If you are not up to the editing, consider having someone else do it for you. That is actually pretty common in professional photography.
     
  3. JaimeGibb

    JaimeGibb TPF Noob!

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    Thanks so much Big Mike!

    I definitly want to edit these, but I almost wonder if they are TOO unsharp or TOO out of focus and noisy...ya know?
     
  4. Zansho

    Zansho TPF Noob!

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    Indeed, I echo everything mike said. I would do the exact same thing, use a slower shutter speed and drag down your ambient exposure (e.g. if your shutter speed for ambient exposure reads 1/200th of a second, and you want to bring it down a bit, use 1/125th or 1/60th). I'd put your flash off camera, so you can give your subjects more shape and form, and create more dramatic shadows than straight on flash would.

    Your aperture controls the flash exposure. Shutter speed controls the ambient exposure. Keep those two traits in mind when you're outdoors shooting, and if needed, increase your ISO a bit so you can increase the power of the flash's output. Generally speaking, for every stop of ISO, flash output increases about 1.5x it's normal factor. Depth of Field is critical here, since you have subjects that are a bit of a distance away from each other.

    As for editing them, I'm afraid they might be too soft for any kind of sharpening method to work effectively. Make sure you have your focus selected appropriately, sometimes if you focus on a subject and then recompose, you still get an out of focus image. You could always try using a High Pass Filter on the image, then switching the opacity of the High Pass Filter layer to Soft light for some sharpening, but I'd be careful of overdoing it for fear of haloing.
     
  5. heip

    heip TPF Noob!

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    Made it kinda' grungy and over sharpened it, opened up the right side of their faces. (our left)

    [​IMG]
     
  6. JaimeGibb

    JaimeGibb TPF Noob!

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    Hey wow, I like that edit!! How did you do that border??
     
  7. heip

    heip TPF Noob!

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    It's a digital mat and some texture underneath it from Design House.
     
  8. Richard

    Richard TPF Noob!

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    First thing I would do is turn the camera to manual. In low light you most likely will need full control. Then I would make sure to shoot RAW this will give you some room to underexpose the image and bring it up later in PP, while holding detail.

    Now with the telephoto lenses you mentioned, it will be a little more of a challenge because the longer the lens the faster your shutter has to be to avoid camera shake. So if you can bring a wider angle lens then you will have some flexibility in your shutter. A wider lens will also increase your depth of field. Or you could just make sure your subjects are standing on the same plane of focus (the same distance from the camera). This would make it easy to get both subjects in focus.

    These tips could give you some extra room to have a better ISO setting. Also a program that is worth investing in would be a noise reduction program. I use Noiseware and love it!!

    A telephoto lens isn't that great in a low light situation, when basically using natural light.
     
  9. Alpha

    Alpha Troll Extraordinaire

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    You really need some more DOF to handle these focus issues.
     
  10. Crimsonandwhite

    Crimsonandwhite TPF Noob!

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    [​IMG]
     
  11. Crimsonandwhite

    Crimsonandwhite TPF Noob!

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    [​IMG]
     
  12. Crimsonandwhite

    Crimsonandwhite TPF Noob!

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