what am i doing wrong? focus/sharpness/lighting help needed...

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by jerseygirl, Jan 26, 2007.

  1. jerseygirl

    jerseygirl TPF Noob!

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    i am shooting with canon EOS digital rebel with a 28-105 mm lens 1: 3.5-4.5 II USM. i took numerous shots using a tripod and flash at various ISO, aperture, and shutter speed combos. of all the photos, the below was the "sharpest". the first image is what the photo looked like once downloaded. the second is a better representation of the "true color", a quick auto color adjustment in photoshop. the specs of this photo are as follows:

    Shooting Mode - Manual
    Shutter Speed - 1/40
    Aperture Value - 4.5
    Metering Mode - Center-weighted averaging
    ISO Speed - 200
    Focal Length - 50.0mm
    Flash - On
    Flash Type - External E-TTL

    what can i do to improve the sharpness, or should i expect this to be as good as it gets with the mentioned set-up? thanks...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  2. ericande

    ericande TPF Noob!

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    Bump up your ISO. You are at 50mm, but only 1/40th of a second, that's hard to get clear shots. At 50mm, you probably wanne be at least at 1/60th, preferably faster to get sharp shots. If you went to ISO 400, you would have been at 1/80th and the shot would have been sharp. ISO 200 vs 400 is mostly unnoticable.


    BTW, my advice is sold because I'm no longer a newbie.
     
  3. jerseygirl

    jerseygirl TPF Noob!

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    here's one at 400 with the following specs:

    Shooting Mode - Manual
    Shutter Speed - 1/200
    Aperture Value - 4.5
    Metering Mode - Center-weighted averaging
    ISO Speed - 400
    Focal Length - 105.0mm
    Flash - On
    Flash Type - External E-TTL

    not sharp at all as far as i'm concerned :confused:

    [​IMG]
     
  4. shingfan

    shingfan TPF Noob!

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    try shorter focal lengith with larger aperature
     
  5. Sw1tchFX

    Sw1tchFX TPF Noob!

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    the 2nd one from the first post is way too cold. she looks like sitting death. Warm tones are good for skin, it makes people look more alive.
     
  6. ericande

    ericande TPF Noob!

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    Also in the second one, you have a very shallow depth of field, so the eyes are very sharp but a lot of the head is not. Also, the lighting just isn't very bright or dynamic so it looks kind of "flat".
     
  7. jerseygirl

    jerseygirl TPF Noob!

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    i agree, it was an auto adjustment in photoshop, but the maroon is a more accurate coloring of what she has on. the first one is not representative of the "true colors", how can i achieve that?
     
  8. ericande

    ericande TPF Noob!

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    True colors aren't always the best. But, instead of doing auto levels, try changing the sliders yourself.
     
  9. jerseygirl

    jerseygirl TPF Noob!

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    this seems to be a reoccurring theme in my shots. i guess an increased aperture value would help, i just never seem to get the right combo...

    i'm shooting indoors in low light conditions. ideally i would like to use no flash, but i'm experimenting with an external pointed up which seems to yield better results. i'm trying to figure out what additional lens to buy for these types of shot and if i'm making the best use out of the one i have. looking through my photos, the crispest shots have been taken at 100 ISO, but have horrible lighting... :banghead: :banghead: :banghead:
     
  10. markc

    markc TPF Noob!

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    Just to note: The 1/f rule for shutter speed works for 35mm film cameras, but not for most digital cameras. The sensor crop needs to be taken into account because the FOV is different. 50mm is a bit telephoto on the digital Rebel, so you should probably be using at least 1/90 sec for that focal length. Faster if you don't have steady hands. For 100mm, the 1/200 should have been fast enough, but I don't know how steady your hands are. It's hard to judge sharpness from a small image, but the eyes look decent to me. Some of what may be bothering you is the flat contrast and the lighting. It can have a big impact on perceived sharpness. I'd also boost up the quality level when you save as JPG. I can see some compression artifacts which can reduce the effective sharpness.

    Mind if I post a couple of edits?
     
  11. Big Mike

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

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    Are you shooting in RAW or JPEG? I suggest shooting in RAW, that way you can adjust the white balance without damaging the image. If you want to get it right, while shooting...use something white and set a custom WB.

    Sometimes digital photos need a little help. A little bit of sharpening can really help.
     
  12. markc

    markc TPF Noob!

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    A lot of people overdo it, but I agree. I add a little sharpening to almost all my images. And when you shrink an image to post to the web, it often needs a touch more sharpening to make up for the shrinking. I prefer to turn off sharpening in the camera and do it all in software. That way I can adjust based on the image, not a preset. If you have too much to start with, shrink the image, and then try to add more, it can look pretty awful.
     

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