Total newb would like some critique on this photo

Discussion in 'General Gallery' started by RockDawg, Jan 13, 2008.

  1. RockDawg

    RockDawg TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2007
    Messages:
    156
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    NE Ohio
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    I am completely new to photography, but I'd really like to learn and make a hobby out of it. I've been lurking these forums since spring and it's a great resource.

    I was playing around with my Nikon D40 and taking some shots of our Christmas tree a couple weeks ago and the only one that seemed decent to me was this one. I know it's not perfect, but I figured I'd post it anyway to get some evaluations. I would like your opinions on what's positive or negative about it, what you would've done differently, and if you think it could be improved with post processing. Don't be afraid to be harsh if need be. I'm looking for honest evaluations and opinions as they are the only way I'll improve.

    [​IMG]

    EDIT: I meant to add that this isn't one of those really shiny bulbs. It is dull and not very reflective which is why I chose it. The more traditional shiny bulbs kept showing my own reflection.
     
  2. THORHAMMER

    THORHAMMER TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2005
    Messages:
    2,789
    Likes Received:
    8
    Location:
    Orange County, CA
    I like the composition and colors ,

    just a little blur...
     
  3. Antithesis

    Antithesis No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2007
    Messages:
    1,335
    Likes Received:
    16
    Location:
    Caribbean
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    I think shooting at either a higher ISO or trying to turn some more lights on would have stopped the camera shake. Also, try to be more exacting with your focusing, because it's hard to tell what your even focused on. That might also be secondary to camera shake too. You want to use a tripod if you drop lower than the closest higher reciprocal of your focal length, so at 200mm you want to be at 1/200th or faster, at 50mm, 1/60th, etc. Just a rule of thumb to negate camera shake, but it also depends on who's holding the camera.
     
  4. Trenton Romulox

    Trenton Romulox TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2007
    Messages:
    2,392
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Maine
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    I think people have already touched on the main points, that the shot is too soft. Some more things though, on the composition: I think the shot would be better if the blue ornament hadn't intruded in on the right lower corner, I'd have gone either the entire ornament, or none of it all. And if you do get a tripod, try stopping down (setting the aperture to f/8 or f/11 or something like that, and see what you can do with lights (to make them more like stars rather than blobs.) Just keep experimenting with stuff. If you shoot a lot and take critique well, you'll get a lot better rather quickly. See ya around.
     
  5. RockDawg

    RockDawg TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2007
    Messages:
    156
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    NE Ohio
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    I actually was using a tripood, but maybe it was shake from pressing the shutter release? I was a little confused on what to focus on (and it shows). My goal was to maintain focus throughout the tree (I think that's what you call "depth of field"?) and I didn't know how to achieve it so I tried to focus on the one branch since it was kind of between the bulb and the back braches depth-wise. I was afraid that if I focussed on the bulb all the branches would be really blurry.

    What should I have focussed on and how could I have achieved depth of field (if I'm using the term correctly)?
     
  6. RKW3

    RKW3 TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2007
    Messages:
    1,716
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    So Cal
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Well, there are multiple f stops (aperture #'s) to choose from in photography, usually ranging from f4 to f22. The lower number you choose, the larger the aperture becomes, which decreases your dof. (resulting in blurry backgrounds)

    The opposite can be said for higher #'s, or smaller f stops. If you use an aperture like f 22, you can pretty much be guaranteed you will have infinity focus, so there will be no blur anywhere. A drawback to using high f stop numbers is that it reduces the light available. For example, if you tried taking a picture indoors with low light, and you want f22 as your aperture, you will need to use a flash if you want to avoid needing extremely slow shutter speeds.

    So basically if you want the branches and the bulb to be in perfect focus, try higher f stop numbers, also known as smaller apertures. It will reduce the light so try using a flash or just make sure your tripod stays steady.
     
  7. TimboAA

    TimboAA TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2007
    Messages:
    87
    Likes Received:
    0
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    A technique I use when I'm using my (cheap) tripod is to set up a shutter timer...so that 2 seconds after I push the shutter down, it takes the picture. Most camera's have these. That way you're not getting that slight camera movement from pushing the shutter down yourself.
     
  8. AmericanJesus

    AmericanJesus TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2008
    Messages:
    297
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Kent, WA, USA
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    :( my tripod is older then me, got it from my father. I use 10 second delay.
     
  9. RockDawg

    RockDawg TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2007
    Messages:
    156
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    NE Ohio
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Sorry I'm so late replying. For some reason I quit getting subscription notices for this thread after my last post. Anyway, I appreciate all the replies and input. I will definitely remember the shutter timer tip.

    RKW3 - Thank you very much for the mini-lesson on aperture. That was quite helpful and should be pretty easy to remember.

    So from all the helpful pointers here I gather I should've set a high f stop with a slow shutter speed while using my tripod with the shutter timer and my photo would've have probably achieved my desired effect? Should I have focussed on the bulb even though I was trying to get depth of field?

    Once again, thanks for all the help!!!
     

Share This Page