Just a thought

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by giorgio, Dec 29, 2009.

  1. giorgio

    giorgio TPF Noob!

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    I'm a newbie in photography

    But I'm starting to think that a high performance ISO capabilities in the camera is the key to easy up just like the 80% of the work of getting great pictures, that is, take the picture and then increase the magic with the Computer, and that's it.


    I'm saying this because I purchased months a go a Nikon D80 with a 18-135mm lense, it sat there like 3-4 months until I had the chance to study and know how to use it in manual.
    (and like 3 flashes, umbrellas etc.), and I'm pretty much not too convinced of how the photos come up with just the camera itself on poor light situations...,
    Like in our Christmas Dinner with the family in the living room.
    I added a Remote Flash (SB-600) and even though it was suposed to be light balanced(histogram) it just looks like crap.

    Granted, I'm a newbie, but just of thinking of all the stuff needed to set up just to have the best lighting possible, or hey, maybe sometimes is just not doable according to the lights conditions and the type of camera.
    That's not nice when trying to take photos of people reunions, on natural situations and so on.

    I see photos of weddings, casuals, etc. from great photographers's websites and wonder what % of that beauty is by the camera and what % is by the computer.
    Because, I already have the computer, but I don't know if I have the camera.

    O well, just a little rant, but I'll check it out, is just that is kind of frustrating to look around and learning and strugling when maybe with a camera with a 6000+ ISO or more will do.

    Here's an example:

    [​IMG]

    Actual size:
    [​IMG]

    Nikon D80
    JPG
    Focal lenght 26mm
    F/5
    1/10
    ISO 1250
    Metering Mode = Pattern
    Light Source = Thungsten
    Exposure Program = Manual
    Exposure compensation = 0


    Salutes
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2009
  2. djacobox372

    djacobox372 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    All iso performance does is remove noise from high iso photos, allowing you to use faster shutter speeds.

    What you have here is poor wight balance, and strong overhead lighting causing ugly shadows across everybodies face. You're also using a very slow shutter speed which will cause bluriness due to subject movement (high iso performance would help that).

    The solution:

    1) proper white balance
    2) stronger fill flash, preferably from a low angle.

    At F/5 1/10 iso 1250, your flash likely contributed very little to the final exposure.
     
  3. giorgio

    giorgio TPF Noob!

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    Interesting, thank you very much...
    I checked WB and did some tests with predefined modes and leave it in Auto I think, I had in consideration that Flash was white and it was going to be some mix there.
    If the silling light is yellow then I supose I would have to set it on thungsteen.?
    Or should I used the white paper setup..?
    Anyway.., I'll keep trying.

    I guess the D80 is good for a lot of things, and a way to compensate its weaknesses would be using external stuff like Flashes, tripods, etc. that I don't like it very much, but anyhow.

    Thanks again
     
  4. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    The issue you have here is two separate coloured light sources.

    The overhead lights are tungsten, the flash on the right is daylight. You can't match these in camera. If you white balanced "correctly" then your subjects would be blue on the right, and look good on the left.

    Does the SB-600 come with any gels (little colour patches to put over the flash)? If not I suggest you grab a set of ebay. The solution to this problem here is to put a CTO (Colour Temperature Orange) gel on the flash, and then set the camera white balance to tungsten. This would make the flash the same colour as the overheads, and consistently light the subjects. The result is your camera can then correctly adjust to the white balance and it all looks groovy.

    By the way this would not be fixed with a fancy new camera either :)


    So for next time based on this photo here is what I would do after taking that picture and thinking oooh that's no good "holdup family":
    - Put CTO gel on the flash. Set camera to tungsten WB.
    - Bring flash closer to camera to more evenly light the family, or better yet move flash further away from family, or even better, find something to bounce flash light off.
    - Drop ISO by 1 stop. Grandpa's forehead is glowing so by dropping the ISO slightly you darken the image and reduce noise (win win).

    A better camera won't get around this debugging issue. For instance if I were shooting without a flash with a D700 in that exact position you'll find a very crystal clear photo, perfectly white balanced (only 1 lightsource), that simply looks ugly because there are dark shadows on all the subject's faces. So you add a flash... and then a CTO gel... and then really you're right back to where you were with the D80. :lol:
     
  5. giorgio

    giorgio TPF Noob!

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    Thank you Garbz

    That's a good explanation for me to have perspective and context about the Hardware, Software and Technique situation.

    I'll keep practicing.

    I have a Webdesign and Hosting company for 9 years, decided to add a simple executive photography option JUST to complete their Website or profile(not even on print o high resolutions).
    But once I studied and investigated, this Photography deal is really nice and inspiring, so I'm just trying to get to know more.

    I have some friends and customers who are Pros and I thought I could ask them just to let me go with them, not for them to teach me but more for the oportunity of going to a Real Social Event and not getting in their way, anything more than that from them would be great ofcourse, but I'm a businessman, and I undertand one could feel to reserve some info.

    thanks again.
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2009
  6. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    If you're exploring off-camera lighting more I suggest heading to Strobist and reading the lighting 101 series. There's a wealth of info in there that covers all sorts of things. Most of it is about multiple off camera flashes, but there's a lot of theory of how flash light and natural light mix, gels, hard vs soft light, inverse square law, etc that are relevant to single flash units too.
     
  7. IgsEMT

    IgsEMT No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    my 2cents to add to buddy Garbz :)

    Exposure = iso + aperture + shutter speed.
    Computer/darkroom are enhancements/processing means. But both are good if done correctly. If you skrew up on a shot, you can't always correct it, opposite is true.
    You said you learned lighting, yet in the image you posted there is no evidence of your claim.
    PM me, we can talk more about lighting, exposure, composition, etc :)
     
  8. giorgio

    giorgio TPF Noob!

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    Thank you very much for your support.
    Yes, I learned the lighting escence and basics, by reading, books, tutorials, videos, and more reading and reading, even the the Strobes technics and metrics, in general and in my Own Vivitar etc. which ofcourse I don't remember but have the idea in order to check them out again just in case.

    But I haven't practiced as much as I have studied, in great part because on the day I'm kind of busy, and when I'm free and relax... well... is dark, so I haven't been able yet to get the hang of my D80.

    In the picture I tried to setup the WB and did it wrong I guess.
    I knew Flash light was going to be mixed with it but I did it anyway, there wasn't any previous practicing and all, the people was there and just wanted the pictures with what I have learned so far.

    Part of my problem may be psicological in the way that I want to achieve more with less stuff, that is...,
    how much exposure quality can I get from just the camera at this moment with this lighting and subject conditions?(in general, not the pic posted above) and some questions on my mind arise specially because I don't have experience, as I feel otherwize in my field, webdesign.
    - Crappy results?, would it be better with a more efficient camera?
    - It would always need an external strobe then?
    - Or is still possible to get the on camera settings right?
    - I know RAW and JPEG difference, but, which one would do enough? am I going to overwork by shooting all in RAW when it wasn't necessary..? or will it be easy to correct pics and enhance the Exposure capabilties?

    etc.
    Sorry these are more like questions on my mind.

    At this moment for example I'm checking the Raw format, I realize my Windows Xp doesn't read it, I searched in the forums and saw there's is a codec, download it and installed(just restarted the PC and writing this post so I haveh't check it out)
    I'm also going to install LightRoom, even though I don't know if I need it, I've used Adobe fireworks for years, I don't know Photoshop, so I'm yet to see what can I do with Fireworks.

    I'm not looking just to take good family or friends pictures, I want to see how possible is for me to achieve professional level photography.

    I know in my mind what I want in a picture, the light, color, the intensity etc. the thing is to get it with the camera/hardware/software in the most time eficient way.


    Salutes

    Giorgio
     
  9. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Give it time. Everyone starts somewhere, and remember a DSLR + flash IS professional equipment.
     
  10. IgsEMT

    IgsEMT No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    This topic has been around here for a while and many people, including my self and Garbz, suggested various settings; so here's how to do it...

    #1 You set up your group,
    #2a, set the flash on top of your camera, bounce it 45-60degrees at iso 400, 1/125, f/5.6, WB daylight or around 5500 (+/- 100)
    OR
    #2b set the flash in CLS and same settings as above with shoot through or reflective umbrella (I think you mentioned you have one) but on camera's control, set the ttl+1
    #3, see what you get and readjust if needs be.
    #4, if you like the results - great! replicate them until you know what the hell i'm talking about :) and why I choose those settings.
    #5 if you don't like the results - you suck :D
    #6, if you have additional Qs, PM/email me, cause its unlikely I'll find this thread to read and respond :)

    Happy New Year
     
  11. KasparP

    KasparP TPF Noob!

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    Weird, this was taken with a REGULAR D60 flash with a 35mm 1.8 at 1.8f:

    [​IMG]

    I dont have time to read all of the posts, but I'm sure this has been said already.

    High ISO = lots of noise. You're white balance is also off a little bit. Get a prime lens and stick with it, youre lenses are most likely nice zoom, but crappy aperature starting at like 3.5 which forces you to use a higher ISO.

    The above picture is UNEDITED, straight from the camera.
     
  12. IgsEMT

    IgsEMT No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Is that your opinion or a fact?
    First of all, the sharpest apertures are about 2-3 stops down from widest aperture. Second of all, primes aren't the best way to go... I had over 6yrs of using primes and couldn't be happier with zoom lenses.
    So we can start a debate here which is better prime or zoom but it won't get us anywhere b/c it is an opinion and style of shooting.

    The image you posted is underexposed & woman is softer then the two men. Unless you're doing selective focusing it's advised to keep everyone's eyes nice and sharp :)
     

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