Lots of Questions from a Beginner!

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by lovephotos, Jun 3, 2010.

  1. lovephotos

    lovephotos TPF Noob!

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    Forgive me for my lack of knowledge. I am a beginner hoping to one day turn my hobby into a side job. I love taking portraits, and for a beginner, I don't think I am half bad. I use a Canon Rebel XS with the kit lens. I also have a 70-300mm that I rarely use. I keep running into the same issues - for some reason my objects come out to be blurry in most shots. I don't know if it is my lens or what. I use full manual, and I feel I am pretty competent when it comes to adjusting the ISO and f/stop for certain conditions. I usually keep my shutter speed on about 1/80 or 1/100 to compensate for any camera shake. Maybe my focus is off? Is it possible for it to look in focus through the viewfinder but when the photo is actually taken, for it to be out of focus?

    Also, my husband and I went to the beach to take some shots of him, and for some reason I am incapable of capturing the really blue sky we had yesterday. When I opened up the photos in Photoshop, I couldn't even capture the color of the sky by boosting the vibrance. In my photos, it looked like it was a cloudy, overcasted day when that was not the case at all. Any ideas?

    Thanks!!! :) ;)
     
  2. supraman215

    supraman215 TPF Noob!

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    :addpics:
     
  3. bigtwinky

    bigtwinky No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Yes, please post up some examples.

    If you are using a 1/125 shutter, that should be more than enough to get sharp images of a model. If its an action shot, you need at least double or triple this shutter speed.

    Sounds like you are having focusing issues. Is your lens set to auto focus? What focus mode are you using on your camera?

    As for the blue sky, thats an issue with the scene having such a high range in contrasting light... two ways around this...shooting an HDR style image, or using fill flash. For the fill flash, you expose for the sky and then you light up your subject with the flash
     
  4. Stormchase

    Stormchase No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    For the blue skies get a nice CPolerizer filter. It will help a lot for that. As for blur use a tripod with the 300mm for sure. For the 18_55mm hand holding it make sure.your IS is on and shoot one at 18 or 20 mm with about a 5.6 f stop and see if you still have th3 blur. If that fixes it your moving the camera. If its still blurred you have other things to look at.
     
  5. Ryan L

    Ryan L TPF Noob!

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    It could be if you were shooting in manual focus, and your diopter is off (there is a adjustment wheel on the right side) but I am guessing your AF is on. Is this at all focal lengths? Both lenses? If so maybe your Sensor is dirty, bad, or something else in the camera. I would try to clean your sensor. Do a search and you will find a few methods.

    Have you tried to Manually focus? Do you see it when you review the picture on the LCD and zoom in?

    Are you using custom WB or Auto, or one of the presets? I would suggest Custom as it's very easy to do and will set your color cast correctly for the lighting at hand. Also if you are trying for that pop in the sky, I would suggest a circular polarizing filter.
     
  6. Dao

    Dao No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    For the blue sky issue. My guess is the sky in the photo is blown. Like it is all white instead of blue. As bigtwinky said, the dynamic range is too high for your camera (or any camera) where the sky is so bright when compare to the background as well as the subject.

    Meter the sky with fill flash may solve the issue.


    Example: http://www.flickr.com/groups/technique/discuss/72157594149006802/
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2010
  7. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    The camera doesn't work like the human eye works.

    I'll bet the sky is over exposed to some degree which is likely why you lost the saturation.


    As someone else mentioned you have 2 choices:
    1. make multiple exposures and combine them
    2. or use strobed (flash) light.
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2010
  8. myfotoguy

    myfotoguy TPF Noob!

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    I think bigtwinky and KmH are on the right track.

    As mentioned, it would help to see examples, and know what modes your camera was in (ie: Auto area focus, or single point where you choose where to focus the camera in the scene). Not sure the exact name of those functions on your model.
     
  9. lovephotos

    lovephotos TPF Noob!

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    _MG_0513 on Flickr - Photo Sharing!

    I was really hoping to bring out the sky, but even in photo shop it still won't even become remotely blue. I think I actually figured out the blur, looking back on the photos where the blur occurred, I just think my focus was off. I use manual focus.
     
  10. Vinny

    Vinny TPF Noob!

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    The problem IMO is that you were shooting toward the sun even though you were not in the sun - f5 with a 1/80th shutter speed would let in a lot of light even though you were at an ISO of 100.

    As far as focus, it was mentioned about the diopter - there should be something in the manual about how to adjust it correctly. But unlike film SLRs, DSLRs don't have many aids to focus and it can take some practice to get the correct focus. The smaller the aperture (larger number) the more area will be in focus as well. So if your off focus using a larger aperture it can cause the entire subject to be out of focus.

    Does you camera have an "in focus indicator" - not perfect but it could help. Try to take photos of anything at different distances and see how well you get them in focus. The more practice you have the better at focusing you will become. If you find that you really have a problem with focusing there is at least one company out there that sells the focusing screens like there was (is?) in film SLRs - they may help you focus better.
     
  11. Dao

    Dao No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Yup. The issue is the scene in the above link has a very high dynamic range that the camera sensor cannot cover the entire range. See here for more information regarding Dynamic Range.

    There are few ways to solve the issue.

    One is bracketing and tone map the images from 3 different exposures. Your Canon EOS XS can create 3 images with different exposure (bracketing). This site make software that can do the job of merging the images. You can find more information and examples from the site.


    The other way is if the scene kind of like split into 2 half so that the upper part is the sky (very bright) and the lower part is not so bright, you can use a graduated neutral density filter. The filter will make the upper part darker. See here


    Or, you can use a fill flash to brighten the subject. That will lower the dynamic range of the scene. See the example from my previous post.
     
  12. Ryan L

    Ryan L TPF Noob!

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    If you still think you have a focusing issue: Since you are focusing manually...(not sure why though since both are AF lenses) and your diopter may be off. Use the AF, focus on something, and when it's focused in the viewfinder, then set your diopter correctly. Or, you do have live view on the XS I think. Zoom in focus manually at x10 and when it's in focus on the LCD, set your diopter to match.
     

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