Just snapshots, or what?

Discussion in 'Critique Forum Archives' started by JenKate22, Dec 20, 2006.

  1. JenKate22

    JenKate22 TPF Noob!

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    I need some cc here please. I have been expirementing with my new camera, Canon Rebel XTi, in manual mode. Taking some pictures.
    Do you think these are just snapshots or something more?
    Any input on composition, settings, anything is greatly appreciated.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Settings:
    1.
    1/40 sec
    f/1.8
    ISO: 800
    50 mm 1.8 lens
    2.
    1/100 sec
    f/1.8
    ISO: 800
    50 mm 1.8 lens
    3.
    1/2500 sec
    f/2.8
    ISO: 200
    50 mm 1.8 lens

    I shot these all in manual mode. I am a beginner. I just think I'm seeing this all wrong. If anyone can give me some help it would be great.
    Sorry they are so big. Wasn't sure how to resize.
    Thanks
    Jenkate
     
  2. mysteryscribe

    mysteryscribe TPF Noob!

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    I like them all but they seem a little flat.... Composition is excellent though in my opinion
     
  3. JenKate22

    JenKate22 TPF Noob!

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    Flat? Forgive me for my ignorance, but what do you mean by that, and what can I do to fix it?

    Again, Thank you for your input. It is greatly appreciated.
     
  4. cameraman78

    cameraman78 TPF Noob!

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    These are cute I like them also, I think what they mean by flat is the lack of depth of field. I amy be wrong but they are still in my oppinion nice shots
     
  5. mysteryscribe

    mysteryscribe TPF Noob!

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    No this is what I meant. you dont need dept of field with people usually.
    [​IMG]
     
  6. Big Mike

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

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    Welcome to the forum.

    For future reference...The critique section rules say that you should keep it to one image at a time...to avoid too much confusion. The three shots here are pretty similar, so I think it's OK.

    I think the first one is great. The only thing I would change...would be to get rid of the double catch lights in the eyes.

    In the 2nd one, the focus is on the hand/arm rather than the face. When using a wide aperture (low F number) you get a shallow DOF, which can be nice (as we can see in all three)...but you have to be careful to get the right parts into sharp focus. Almost always, you want the eyes sharp.

    The third one...it also looks like the toy & hand are sharper than the face. In this case, maybe a little bit deeper DOF would be better.

    The 2nd and 3rd do look a little flat. Meaning that they lack contrast and that 'pop' that some people like to see. Maybe they are a bit under exposed...but not too much that a little tweak in Photoshop couldn't fix it.
     
  7. becmaclean

    becmaclean TPF Noob!

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    Welcome and cute baby:wink:

    As previously mentioned, they are nice shots but, be careful of your dof. Your first shot, you lost the fuzz on the little ones arm and me thinks it should have been included. The others just needed to be a little more in focus with a deeper dof maybe.

    Once again, welcome. Look forward to more cute baby shots!!
     
  8. The_Traveler

    The_Traveler Completely Counter-dependent Supporting Member

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    A more complete explanation of 'flat' is that there isn't enough distance between the highlights and the darkest shadows. Typically what is seen are muddy colors and a lack of overall brightness. Oftentimes the mid tones are in the wrong place. This is often seen when the light is very 'flat' on an overcast day and/or when the image is underexposed.

    I have imposed histograms of the distribution of darkness/lightness values on the pictures below. On the left is your original picture, on the right is a the picture 'adjusted' in Photoshop.

    On the left you see that there are no or few highlights that come close to the top (the bright) side. In Photoshop, I corrected the placement of the highlights to be brighter and then moved the mid-tones (usually skin tones) so that they were brighter.

    I cropped off the top of the picture for two reasons:1) there was a lot of non-contributory space and 2) There were some highlights at the top that would affect the histogram and give an incorrect impression of the distribution of the brightness values.

    You are using a Digital Rebel and you can (I think) set the LCD on the back of the camera to show this histogram. Spikes on the extreme right edge (not shown here) represent overexposure where the detail is all burnt out. Spikes on the left side represent shadows with no detail. (you don't have these either but there are some values that are black - without detail. These are probably the stripes in the zebra and are no big loss)

    You want to adjust your exposure so that as much as possible of the histogram is centered or to the right of the midline without huge spikes on the far right edge. In general, exposure to get as much detail in the highlights as possible and let the shadows fall where they may.

    I hope this is useful.

    [​IMG]
     
  9. The_Traveler

    The_Traveler Completely Counter-dependent Supporting Member

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    Depth of Field.

    Although adequate Depth of Field is not usually a problem with portraits when any of the following conditions exist (assuming a 50 mm lens) 1) the f stop is 5.6 or greater (->f16), 2) when the subject is 8 or 10 feet away 3) when manual focus is used.

    However when the lens is wide open (for example 'f1.4' or 'f1.8') and the distance to the subject is relatively short the depth of field is very shallow, perhaps 4 inches. Thus, if the baby's nose is in crisp focus, his ears may be about the furthest away part of him that is acceptably sharp. If you use auto-focus, the camera may 'see' his arm or something else closer to you and thus the arm and his nose will be in the field but his ears will be beyond the area in focus.

    Soooo, get further away, use a wider open aperture (larger f number) or manual focus or any combination of the above.

    Hope this makes sense and is of some use.

    T_T
     
  10. JenKate22

    JenKate22 TPF Noob!

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    Thank you very much for your help and explinations. I understand what your saying, and I will work on it for awhile. I'll post back and let you know how it goes.
    Again, Thank You!
    Jenkate
     
  11. craig

    craig TPF Noob!

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    I define snapshot as little or no thought put into the image. These seem well thought out.
     
  12. mysteryscribe

    mysteryscribe TPF Noob!

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    I ageee with craig they are difinitely not simple snapshots though there is nothing wrong with those either.

    When my mom died, we went through a couple of show boxes of pictures. There were a couple of studio portraits that we pushed aside quickly. The snapshots got scrutinized for serveral minutes each. So there is nothing wrong with shooting snapshots. One of my great regrets is that I didnt shoot nearly enough of them. Once I began to take photography seriously. What a waste.
     

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