School Boy Errors.. Is it me?

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by Matt Davis, Jul 24, 2005.

  1. Matt Davis

    Matt Davis TPF Noob!

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    Hey,

    I havent been taking photos for very long to be honest (since August 2004), but to be fair on myself I think I have progressed well since then.

    However, I still make a number of school boy errors on a number of my photos, even when my camera is set on programme mode.

    Simple errors such as photos not being completely in focus (eg 95% in focus) but not sharp, photos too dark (Along with focusing this seems to be the biggest problem), or photos over exposed, or the colours of the photo not being true to what they are.

    Sometimes I know I could take better photos with a £200 point and shoot camera!

    I use a Canon 300D with various lenses.


    This is an example of what i mean by the colours not being what they truely are.. (Please bear in mind the photo has been reduced in quality for web viewing)
    Look at the sky.. the photo was taken on a perfect day for photography, nice blue sky

    http://www.mattdavisphotography.co.uk/gall_cycle.php?subaction=showfull&id=1122201641&archive=&start_from=&ucat=6&category=6

    If I took the same photo on a £200 point and shoot camera I know the photos colours would look better, and I had a combined total of near 4 times that in my hand when I took that photo!

    Any help appriciated
     
  2. Nikon Fan

    Nikon Fan TPF Noob!

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    I would suggest using some filters. Try a polarizer first, that will help you get bluer skys. It looks like the shot may be a bit over exposed, so if you get a filter you'll have to learn to compensate for it.
     
  3. mrsid99

    mrsid99 TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    Hi Matt,
    Please remember this is just my opinion (opinions and armpits huh?) but your pic looks to me as though the sky is way overexposed hence the loss of color but I understand it had to be that way in order to get the correct exposure for the cylist etc.
    I believe that this is a classic example of lack of dynamic range in digital cameras i.e. the camera won't cover the range of exposure needed.
    For reference, I always use my 10D slightly underexposed and then good old shadows/highlights in Photoshop can fix the too dark bits.
    HTH.
    Sid.
     
  4. Meysha

    Meysha still being picky Vicky

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    Your photo looks fine to me. It was taken under very trying conditions - bright sky, dark clothed people. It looks like (as said above) that you metered on the dark clothed people, so that means that the sky is going to be over exposed.

    I'd pay special attention to exactly where you're metering from and what metering setting you've got it set to. Try the smallest metering setting on the canon, I think it's called Center weighted or maybe spot on the 300D, then try to take the picture again. Paying special attention to where the center is metering off.

    Like MrSid said, If I'm in a difficult situation like your photo, I always try and meter off the brightest section - this means that most of the photo (the people in your shot) will be under exposed. However, it is a million times easier to fix up an under exposed photo that to try and save an over exposed photo.

    WRT the focusing, are you using a manual focus or the automatic focusing. If you're using the manual setting, maybe you should try adjusting the viewfinder's sharpness for your eyes, this may be where your error is.
    Good luck!
     
  5. DocFrankenstein

    DocFrankenstein Clinically Insane?

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    300D doesn't have choice of metering modes I beleive.

    What you should've done is turn on the flash there and fill in the shadows on the guy's face.

    Learn about metering
    Use of fill flash
    Basics of outdoor lighting
    Get off the program mode and use manual
     
  6. Matt Davis

    Matt Davis TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the replies! I will get reading up on metering later on today :D
    Automatic.. The photos seem to be "in focus" but not "sharp" so to speak

    I must admit I dont like using program mode as it makes it too easy.. I only use program mode when my photos are not what they should be on manual!

    Right this is where you laugh at me :p My mate who also has a 300D was told by someone he knows that the 300D is only good for 10,000 photos. Ive taken just over 11,000 photos on my camera now, are the photos I take now going to be of a lesser quality than before?

    *Goes and hides and feels stupid* :oops:
     
  7. DocFrankenstein

    DocFrankenstein Clinically Insane?

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    Never too late to learn.

    You have the flipping mirror in the rebel. The 10000 number your buddy was referring to is the life of that mechanism. Canon's specification on it is 10K activations.

    It means the shutter can die soon... but in all probability it can last till 20-40 k

    Costs about 200 bucks to replace.
     
  8. Ant

    Ant TPF Noob!

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    Did you shoot that photo in RAW or jpg?
     
  9. Meysha

    Meysha still being picky Vicky

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    It could be the lens. The lens that comes with the camera is an 'ok' lens and I haven't heard too many people complaining about it, considering it is a cheap lens. But if you've changed the lens, then you could have a sharpness issue there. What are you using?
     
  10. Matt Davis

    Matt Davis TPF Noob!

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    Jpg.. The second large setting..

    I cant remember exactly which lense it was, but more than likely it was my Canon 75-300 lense, which cost me about £150 if i remember rightly. Not an expensive lense but I am saving for the 100-400mm ;)
     
  11. Ant

    Ant TPF Noob!

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    If you're shooting jpg then make sure that your contrast is set to minimum. That will help prevent pushing the dynamic range too much. You can then tweak in post process.
     
  12. Matt Davis

    Matt Davis TPF Noob!

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    Ant, Thanks for that will try it.. Will post an example of one of my other problems later on!
     

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