Need advice.

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by vansnxtweek, Jul 19, 2010.

  1. vansnxtweek

    vansnxtweek TPF Noob!

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    Hello folks. Well I love this forum because I feel like I learn a lot everytime I get on here. The problem is that I am becoming extremely critical of the pictures I take (or maybe that's a good thing?). I am going to post three pictures and tell what I see when I look at them and please let me know if I am being too critical or if I'm still missing other things.

    Thanks :D

    #1. When I look at this picture I really like it. However, my eye tells me that the antenna shouldn't be seen in the top, and I feel like the grass in the middle is distracting since its off center. I also feel like the truck should be very sharp where as the background should be a little softer looking, however it looks like everything is somewhat in focus. This picture was taken at an aperture value of 3.5 at an 18mm zoom.

    [​IMG]

    #2. On this one I love the composition however I wish that the pier was not cut off. That is an easy fix. Once again I wish the depth of field would have come out more as I'd hoped making the subject look much clearer. I also have a problem getting the correct exposure because if I go for the sky, everything else is too dark, and if I go for the truck the sky is way bright. What do I do? ..maybe take pictures later in the day lol.

    [​IMG]

    #3. This last spot I found I was very happy with. The problem is that I feel like there are some harsh spots of light. Also, I have a big problem with lens flare.

    [​IMG]

    #4. This is one more that I have that I liked.
    [​IMG]

    Now I have told what I see. Please help me! I know that most people think automobile pictures are boring but its what I like.

    I feel like when someone looks at my pictures I hope that they can tell that I am not just another person taking some random pictures. Instead, I would like for it to be known that I have done a lot of studying to take better pictures. I also want my pictures to have vibrant colors..and extremely sharp details! I feel like if not..then why am I using a nice camera? No one wants to be the poser taking bo bo pictures with a nice camera lol.
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2010
  2. SecondShot

    SecondShot TPF Noob!

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    Gonna try and help with some feedback.

    1) The grass off center, as you noted, is a bit distracting. The antenna is no big deal to me, since its part of the vehicle, but you can easily clone that out. You have the truck centered spot on, and the front grill looks to be the sharpest. Other than the grass patch in the middle, I like it.

    2) Composition-wise, that metal pier is pulling my attention away. I'd recommend placing your truck one landing over to the right. And crop out the metal pier. Are you shooting in a preset? like Landscape, portrait, etc, or are you in full manual?

    3) I'm getting the feeling that you're shooting in the middle of the day, based on the shadows of your truck. Your lens flare/and harsh lighting issues might be resolved if you shoot around say 6-7PM around this time of year.

    Just my 2 cents.
     
  3. SecondShot

    SecondShot TPF Noob!

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    top center of your new #3 is a little distracting - is that sunlight or lens flare? I really like the photo otherwise.
     
  4. vtf

    vtf No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I like them, but maybe play with the contrast and sharpen abit.
    Hey, its a ford so definitely kudos for that.:thumbup:
     
  5. pbelarge

    pbelarge TPF Noob!

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    #3 is the only one I feel is well composed. The dof is a little to shallow, and lens flare needs some help.

    The others need help with the comp and then you can worry about the technical stuff.
     
  6. vansnxtweek

    vansnxtweek TPF Noob!

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    Your .02 helps a lot. I think the grass in the middle is def. the big problem. Glad someone else agrees.

    For #2, I think you're right again. An all wooden portion of the grill would have been better. As far as the camera settings, I'm in manual as far as shooting but for the setups for landscape or portrait I usually try some of both since I don't really know which category vehicles fall into lol. I like the colors and sharpness that landscape gives.

    As far as #3, I posted the wrong one first. This is the right #3 now. I got lucky I found that spot! It was great I think..and I will go back. Def. want to go when there is sunlight but I have got to figure out how to get rid of this lens flare. I use a UV filter on the lens all the time, maybe this could be the problem?

    I played with these settings a small amount on #1 but that was the only one. I just feel like my pictures don't have that same effect...gotta work up to it!

    Gotta love a Ford :)

    Ya the setup of #3 was my favorite for sure, but I posted it to show the extreme lens flare. How can I fix it? Preventing it would be even better.

    Whats wrong with the composition in the others? Just not working all together for ya?
     
  7. MrBarney

    MrBarney TPF Noob!

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    Just a couple of general things to think about:

    All shots were taken at iso100. No problem, just an observation leading into the next point.

    The exif data for the first photo doesn't match with what you said about your photo. You said f3/5 @18mm, it says f/8 @25mm. It also says that the shutter speed was 1/10th of a second, which would have made it nearly impossible to hold the camera still and get a sharp photo. I suspect you were using the ground for support to get it as clear as you did.

    The second is f/9 @44mm, 1/200th of a second. Much better shutter speed.
    The third is f/4.5 @36mm, 1/200th. Again, fine.
    Fourth is f/10 @ 29mm, 1/80th. Still ok.

    It looks like you are using manual mode, which is admirable, but looking at that spread, I would say that you're not really choosing the aperture, shutter speed or iso based on any specific reasoning, but just adjusting shutter and aperture until the meter looks right.

    I would suggest reading up on exposure. There are several links in the tutorial thread at the top of this forum, or many good books.

    You might also want to read up on the different metering modes for your camera. This may help with the problems you are having with the photo being too bright or too dark. I note that your photos were taken in matrix or pattern metering mode. If you are trying to meter a for a specific part of the photo you will need to change this. That's not to say matrix is bad, just that it is incompatible with trying to meter a specific point, as you said you were doing. The sky causes me problems too, I find that shooting later in the day, or on an overcast day can help.

    You could also try a lens hood to help with the flare.

    Oh, and I like the last two shots. The composition is very good. :thumbsup:
     
  8. vansnxtweek

    vansnxtweek TPF Noob!

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    Mr. Barney..Huge Huge help man thank you!

    Where should I start. First off if you are right (which I don't think EXIF data lies) that would completely explain why it didn't turn out like I had hoped for. I could have easily made that mistake though. I do see from these picture examples where you would see that my aperture values and shutter speeds show no rhythm but I will assure you that I somewhat know how they work together and why you use one or another. I have read my manual many times! lol I am going to see if Barnes and Noble has the Understanding Exposure book..I have seen a lot about it.

    ANYWAYS..haha. Let me explain myself. When it comes to the automobile pictures I'm undecided which is best as far as aperture value and shutter speed relation. Lets start with #1. In a picture like this where the main subject is the truck, I def. feel that I should use the lowest f stop possible..which I obviously screwed up on. This explains why the picture isn't what I'd hoped for! However I did not use a tripod for that picture. I just held it as steady as I could. That could account for a bit of the not sharp problem as well.

    Moving to #2, I feel like this picture should have a smaller f stop, keeping things in the background more in focus. I know that with a vehicle picture the focus should be on the vehicle, but I also think its cool to make the vehicle a clear part of its background. Hence why I used the f/9 with the 1/200th shutter speed.

    #3. This one I wanted to try to get the truck clearly in focus, which is why I moved back to a larger aperture, which I thought turned out well.

    So basically what I'm saying is that I know why I would change the relation of the aperture value and the shutter speed, I just don't know when is the best time to do so all the time...but that is gettng better with experience.

    Now as far as the ISO..I want that as low as possible right? From what I've read the more ISO causes more noise. I usually keep the ISO as low as I can with the given light situation.

    Metering modes. I will read up more on that. I must be metering wrong. I guess this is the difference in evaluative and matrix?

    Whew..hopefully that all makes sense.

    Thanks again! Kudos to anyone who read all of my post haha.
     
  9. Petraio Prime

    Petraio Prime TPF Noob!

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    Are these for some commercial purpose? If so, you need to invest in lighting equipment. Not sure what you are trying to accomplish but I'll offer this:

    The sun being directly overhead leaves the lower parts of the truck dark, even the vertical surfaces. If these were for some commercial purpose you will want to illuminate these surfaces better. Late or early in the day will provide a lower angle of sun, which would be better here.
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2010
  10. Willl

    Willl TPF Noob!

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    The biggest problem with them all is that blue oval on the truck. :lmao:
     
  11. vansnxtweek

    vansnxtweek TPF Noob!

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    These are just for my own enjoyment. This is my own truck. Its funny that you say that because I was just looking at #3 and noticed that I can barely read the license plate. I know I was taking pictures in the worst part of day, I just sometimes get tired of the orange glow I get around dusk. Maybe I should change up my white balance at that time.

    Lol..here we go.:mrgreen:
     
  12. MrBarney

    MrBarney TPF Noob!

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    :blushing:
    No, I don't think you can accidentally fake the exif data. Maybe you can deliberately tamper with it, I'm not sure.

    I'm still trying to work through that book myself, but what I have read so far is laid out in a way that's easy to grasp.

    Ok, I can see you have the right idea, it's just needs some fine tuning. That's ok, so do I! Do you understand what "Depth of Field" is? What I'm trying to get across is that the maximum aperture won't automatically give you focus on the item in the foreground (in this case, the truck) and nothing else. Neither can you guarantee that the whole truck will be in focus. it depends upon the focal length (the amount of zoom, if you like) and both the distance from you to the truck and the distance from the truck to the background.

    Have a play with this little toy to get a feel for how much or little will be in focus for a given setup: Online Depth of Field Calculator

    If I take an example from your third photo, I choose your camera (the T2i doesn't seem to be listed, so I've gone with the T1i here - I think it has the same "circle of confusion"), punch in f/4.5 and 36mm. If you are 10 feet away from the truck, I get a DoF of 4.13 feet, which breaks down into 1.65 in front of the point of focus, and 2.47 feet behind. If you focus on the tail light, even at that angle, I suspect your truck is using more than 2.5 feet of road? So, back up to 20 feet, and punch in the numbers again, and now I get 19 feet depth of field. Big difference. But maybe the truck is now too small, so I zoom in all the way to 55mm. Run the numbers and that DoF has shrunk again to 7 feet.

    Finally, stop down the lens to F/8. Now we have 13.5 feet DoF.

    Hopefully that helps you in working out where your aperture and focal length need to be, as well as how far away you should be standing. It's something I'm trying to get a feel for too. As you say, it's experience.

    Exactly. Bring it up to help avoid motion blur if your shutter would be too slow, otherwise keep it as low as possible.

    matrix = evaluative = pattern. Different terms, same thing. In these cases, the whole image is used to determine the "correct" exposure which the cameras meter then uses to as the center point on the display.
    Your other options with Canon cameras are (usually); Center weighted, where more importance is placed on the center of the frame; and Spot metering, where only the very center point is used. That is, unless your manual tells you different!

    Phew! :D
     

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