Sharp subjects/course questions? xx

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by jemmy, Jul 2, 2006.

  1. jemmy

    jemmy TPF Noob!

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    Hi guys... another perhaps silly :confused: but serious couple of questions here....

    Question #1...I am a big lover of portraiture and am rather happy with my 'one subject' portraits.... after advice i tend to activate only one sensor, and use focus lock, to get a good sharp shot of the subject...... now, my dilemma is shooting portraits of 2 or more people... i should then activate all sensors to get everyone sharp???? Have been finding one person to be sharper than others which i i am hating with a passion!!!!!!!....Should i be shooting on a particular mode or using specific settings to combat this problem??... i tend to swap around from Av to Program.... any advice on getting all of my subjects SHARP is greatly appreciated enormously!
    Thanks in advance:D and sorry if this is a laughable question - I am so far self-taught only apart from a short course on 'getting to know my camera' but hoping to book into a course in the near future..... which leads me to my
    2nd question....
    i know most of you are from other parts of the globe but does anyone recommend a particular course... i have been looking into the Diploma of Photography at Southbank Institute of TAFE but i'm not sure if i could fit a 2 year full time course in to my busy little life as a stay at home mum of 2 littlies?! xx don't think i would benefit from an external type course - i'm more of a 'go to class' type learner xx Any advice again appreciated muchly xxxxx
     
  2. danalec99

    danalec99 TPF Noob!

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    #1 - You'd need a deep (f8 and/or higher numbers) DOF (scroll down to see examples of different aperture numbers) to have more subjects 'sharp'. Put the camera on Av Mode and set the number to '8'. 8 is generally a good starting point.
     
  3. niccig

    niccig TPF Noob!

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    Do you have any colleges/community colleges nearby? I'm going to be taking Photo I at my local university (which I also happen to work at). If you have one nearby, that seems like the best option - most schools will admit "non-degree-seeking" students, meaning that you don't have to be working toward a degree of any type - you just go take classes for self-improvement, or whatever your reasons are. Then of course if you like it, you can always take other courses.
     
  4. Philip Weir

    Philip Weir TPF Noob!

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    I will just cover the problem you are having with sharpness on two or more subjects. Danalec99 has given you the principle. Old lenses used to have a series of apertures and focus distances [DOF] on the barrel of the lens, but it seems digital doesn't have them. You need to stop the lens down further, I can't tell you how far, because that depends on the length of the lens and the difference in distance between the two subjects. Test if necessary at say f8, f11, f16 and check the difference. Philip
    www.philipweirphotography.com
     
  5. elsaspet

    elsaspet TPF Noob!

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    My answer is a little different. I shoot EVERYONE regardless on the size of group at 2.8 and recompose. The smaller the group, the closer I am. The larger, the further back. This seems to work, regardless of available light/flash, or number of people in the image. This only changes for depth of more that a few feet, and that isn't really an issue if it's a small group and you are close.
    Hope this helps.
    Cindy
     
  6. Philip Weir

    Philip Weir TPF Noob!

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    Hi again Jemmy, I appreciate the point that "elsaspet" is getting at, but it doesn't fix your problem.[no offence elsaspet] I know when I used to shoot film in the studio on an RB, it had a button on the lens that stopped the lens down to the aperture I had my lens set on, so that I was able to check my depth of field [DOF], and adjust my exposure to compensate..... I just checked, my Nikon D100 has the same facility. Trust we're not confusing you. Philip.
     
  7. Sw1tchFX

    Sw1tchFX TPF Noob!

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    When I first read your post I thought, "Maybe its his autofocusing is getting confused on what subject to focus on, and as a result, focuses on the closest object and makes the other subject fuzzy." So then I thought, “What’s wrong with focusing manually?” When I’m using an AF SLR, I usually keep my lens or camera on manual focusing because I’m used to using a manual camera, and it gives me more control. If going f/8, 11,or 16 slows down your shutter speed too much, try manually focusing so you can keep both your subjects in the center of the focusing area so you have the most coverage on what needs to be focused. So instead of focusing dead on someone’s eyes, focus them on the edge of the area so they’re still focused, just not focused to where there is enough area in case you or your subject moves forward or backward.

    It’s really hard to explain what I’m saying, but I’ve done it before, and it works great!
     
  8. jemmy

    jemmy TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for all the feedback guys, really helpful if also a tad confusing! I guess i'll be practicing each of your 'methods' on thursday to see what works best for me...
    A couple of individual questions though..
    Cindy, what size lens do you use, my biggest aperture is a crappy 3.5 kit... am hanging to buy something decent! Can i also ask what mode you shoot groups in or does it vary depending on lighting,size etc... also any setting info tips???.... i certainly love your work and any advice would be fab xx thanks

    Do you guys operate on the 'activating only middle sensor' principle, and use focus lock or is this just best for one subject shots? Should i activate all 7 sensors to give me more focus area???? sorry, just trying to learn as much as i possibly can from you pros!! xx
     
  9. stingray

    stingray TPF Noob!

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    the camera lens can only have its focus on one thing at a time. activating for or less sensors has no effect on how many people are in focus. Depth of field is therefore used to increase the area that APPEARS in focus. The bigger the number (i.e. F 16 or 22) the smaller the hole for light to pass through in the lens, resulting in a sharper picture. Unfortunately the smaller hole requires a slower shutter speed, which can cause blurs anyway. The answer is to shoot at f 8 or f16 in decent light with an ISO speed to match...
     

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