Please help me with Canon 350D setup.

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by Lolly, Mar 22, 2007.

  1. Lolly

    Lolly TPF Noob!

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    I recently bought a Canon 350D to use for freefall photography.
    I'm having trouble getting it set up correctly though.
    I have to admit that even though I am a photographer by trade, I know almost nothing about cameras.

    Here are 3 shots from the same jump.
    Does anyone know why they all seem so different and what settings would give better results.
    I used a Sigma 15mm lens.
    If anyone can suggest some good settings to achieve better pictures, I'll try them out next time and post up the results.

    Thanks!

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  2. Big Mike

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

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    Welcome to the forum.

    I think the problem is metering. You have a dark subject in the middle of a scene that is very bright. The 2nd one looks better but the background is blown and washed out. Not much you can do about that, the tonal range is just higher than your camera can deal with. You could, of course, use flash to light up the subject.
     
  3. EOS_JD

    EOS_JD TPF Noob!

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    As Mike says - your camera is metering a bright scene and darker objects will be very dark. In No 2 you have metered the darker guy so the camera will have to overexpose the background (lighter area) to compensate.

    Best way may be to take a meter reading off the background and use flash to light the subject - 15mm is very wide though.

    Migh be best to take a reading from the subject and set your camera to manual and shoot that way. Your background will be over exposed though. Shooting RAW may help get some detail back.

    this is a tough one!! How can you be a photographer to trade and know nothing about cameras?? :D
     
  4. 23pixels

    23pixels TPF Noob!

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    I would shoot in raw. Make sure you are using the correct metering. I dont know how you feel about using the on-board flash as a fill in. Also you can use a polarizer filter so your sky isn't blown out.
     
  5. darich

    darich TPF Noob!

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    I was wondering the exact same thing :confused:
     
  6. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I think the problem is the type of metring. All the photos have a dark centre subject with a white surround so that is not the issue.

    The metring mode is what could be causing the problem. Matrix Metreing (as called by Nikon, Evaluatitive on the Canon?) changes the metring as a function of how far something is from the lens. This could be causing the massive differences you see in exposure. Try taking a photo with centre weighted metreing and when you find the right setting flick them into manual and go!
     
  7. Orgnoi1

    Orgnoi1 TPF Noob!

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    Just so you guys know... freefall jumpers normally wear the helmet with the camera attached to that...LOL I dont think Lolly is going to be able to "play with settings" in the air too much...LOL

    I would agree with the RAW and centerweighted metering... that way you will be metering the jumper and not the sky... the downside is if you shoot a formation you may end up metering the sky again instead...

    Also the reason he could be a photographer by trade but not know cameras is usually a jump school/site has gear... and they take turns instructing and being the photographer... at least thats how I have seen it done...
     
  8. Lolly

    Lolly TPF Noob!

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    Hi,
    Thanks for the advice, I'll try out the RAW and centerweighted metering ideas next time I jump. Looking at the forecast it doesn't look like that will be until next week though.
    Orgnoi1 is right. Its not possible to adjust settings in freefall as the camera is mounted on top of my head and activated with a tongue switch.

    The hard part of freefall photography is actually being there and getting the subject in shot. Unlike you guys who are most likely fiddling with your cameras settings between every shot; Once my camera is set up correctly for the conditions it doesn't really get touched. I'm not a professional photographer in a traditional sense.
    Also, im a she not a he.
     
  9. Lolly, shoot in Shutter Priority mode. Figure out what settings your best shot were on a sunny day, set the camera to manual, and shoot that way. I bet you it will end up reading something f/5.6 at 1/250th of a second. That's a lot of light on a sunny day, but a blown-out sky is secondary here - you want to get the person nicely exposed, and a fast speed so the image is sharp.

    Shoot in Tv mode -which means Shutter Priority or "Time value." Basically that means setting the camera to 1/250th of a second (or even faster to avoid any camera shake) and then letting the camera pick the proper Aperture.

    Figure out what settings work, and use default settings for sunny days, and slightly over-cast days. That's all you need. If you shoot in RAW and process afterward you'll end up with 98% good images.
     
  10. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Question...

    If she went out in the middle of a field (no shade or obstruction from the sky) and metered using a handheld meter (ambient), wouldn't that give a pretty close approximation of the exposure necessary in freefall? If so, then she could just switch to full manual set the exposure recommended by the handheld and leave it there for the freefall itself. Even better, go continuous with those settings and set for 3 exposure bracket. The rest could be adjusted post-production assuming she shoots raw.

    The reason why I'm asking is that I do something pretty similar when using a handheld and my old meterless cameras on the street. I don't meter each and every shot. Take a single reading every-so-often and guessimate the rest. It works pretty well although B&W will give you a bit more latitude. I would even bet the ol' sunny 16 rule would work in bright sunny conditions even in freefall.

    I'm guessing conditions up there (in terms of light) don't change much in the few mins you are in freefall. Presetting the exposure before the fall will simplify things...
     
  11. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    o yeh.. go with a smaller than normal aperture.. there's enough light up there and the extra DOF will give you a bit more room for error just in case AF is a bit off in those conditions.
     
  12. benjikan

    benjikan TPF Noob!

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    I agree with "Big Mike". I don't like the second image as the sky had to be blown out to capture the foreground image well exposed. I would suggest you use fill flash for the subject which will allow the background to maintain a rich tonal saturation. The flash will compensate for the difference between the foreground and background. There will be some differences in exposure as the subject comes in closer and pulls back from the frame. Within a working range of about 4-5 meters you should be alright.

    Ben
     

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