Began to get the grasp. Need some help tho

SkyCaptain

TPF Noob!
Joined
May 20, 2013
Messages
16
Reaction score
1
Location
Egypt
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
So finally my Nikon D5200 had arrived and I began to learn it step by step reading through a 200+ manual. I knew about the shutter, aperture and ISO mainly. The basics I grasped mainly for taking a photo for somebody running is to set the shutter to a higher rate like 1/1600 for example. And for taking a picture for somebody (portrait) with all the focus on him I should set the aperture to a large level (a lower f number) like 3.5f_5.6f which is the max for my 18_55mm respectively.

However I still have many questions that need answers. Please try to help me:

1- Why do indoor pictures (portraits) look dark without flash, even at a higher ISO at 800 and aperture at 3.5f and shutter around 1/200. What are the best settings for an indoor good portrait?

2- Considering the portraits indoors, I take some good portraits with flash on but still, the background is not fully blurred even the whole focus is on the face of the one I am portraying? It appears a little blurry but not that one I see in many photos where objects are like melted together to the level of no recognition? How can I reach that? Is it possible indoors? Or only outdoors where little is plenty?

3-Similarly to aperture question number 1, when it comes to taking sporty photos like my brothers running in doors, pictures are still dark without the flash. What are the best settings?

4- Last question, generally, to take sporty photos or portraits, should the shutter be higher in sporty photos and aperture lower (larger f number) or aperture doesnt make a difference? The same question to get blurred backgrounds behind the one getting portrayed, should aperture be higher and shutter is lower like 1\10 for example, or shouldnt make difference?

Thank you in advance.
 

frommrstomommy

Been spending a lot of time on here!
Joined
Feb 3, 2010
Messages
2,341
Reaction score
1,003
Location
florida
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
trying to answer you without going crazy with terms you wont understand.. lol

1- Why do indoor pictures (portraits) look dark without flash, even at a higher ISO at 800 and aperture at 3.5f and shutter around 1/200. What are the best settings for an indoor good portrait?
I only photograph my son indoors during the day when I can get some good light coming in through a window or something.. because that's kinda the bottom line unless you want to use flash.

2- Considering the portraits indoors, I take some good portraits with flash on but still, the background is not fully blurred even the whole focus is on the face of the one I am portraying? It appears a little blurry but not that one I see in many photos where objects are like melted together to the level of no recognition? How can I reach that? Is it possible indoors? Or only outdoors where little is plenty?
you can achieve this indoors.. but you need space. you need distance between your subject and the background you want blurred... and generally lower fstop # will give you more out of focus blur in the background.

4- Last question, generally, to take sporty photos or portraits, should the shutter be higher in sporty photos and aperture lower (larger f number) or aperture doesnt make a difference? The same question to get blurred backgrounds behind the one getting portrayed, should aperture be higher and shutter is lower like 1\10 for example, or shouldnt make difference?
I can't speak for sports.. but for portraits the aperture you choose should be based on what you want to achieve and the number of people in the shot. the more people.. the more you want in focus.. the smaller the aperture. If its 1-2 person I usually shoot around 2.8.. a couple and a child 3.5 works well.. more people.. maybe figure an extra fstop per person kinda thing for an easy way to get in the range you need. The lower the f stop # the less in focus you will have, hence the blurred bokeh background you want to achieve. I try to keep the shutter speed at least 125 for people.. 160-200 for kids.
 

Derrel

Mr. Rain Cloud
Joined
Jul 23, 2009
Messages
48,228
Reaction score
18,915
Location
USA
Website
www.pbase.com
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
Indoors, f/3.5 at 1/200 second at ISO 800 is simply not enough exposure time if the pictures look dark. Of course, this depends on the time of day and how many windows there are in a room, but I would normally think that at f/3.5 at ISO 800, a speed range of 1/6 to 1/40 second is going to be more or less a basic starting point. 1/200 second at f/3.5 at ISO 800 is a fairly brief exposure.

The shallow depth of field or "selective focus look" that you are desiring can be difficult to achieve with a kit lens and an APS-C sensor camera setup, especially if the lens is the 18-55mm kit zoom.
 

TCampbell

Been spending a lot of time on here!
Joined
Mar 31, 2012
Messages
3,615
Reaction score
1,556
Location
Dearborn, MI
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
So finally my Nikon D5200 had arrived and I began to learn it step by step reading through a 200+ manual. I knew about the shutter, aperture and ISO mainly. The basics I grasped mainly for taking a photo for somebody running is to set the shutter to a higher rate like 1/1600 for example. And for taking a picture for somebody (portrait) with all the focus on him I should set the aperture to a large level (a lower f number) like 3.5f_5.6f which is the max for my 18_55mm respectively.

Yes, that's correct. You may be able to shoot action as slow as 1/250th to 1/500th and still "freeze" action. Depending on the action, sometimes it's interesting to deliberately slow the shutter and allow blur to occur. This has the effect of "implying" motion to the person viewing your photographs because the viewer can see the motion blur. A waterfall or fountain looks better with the water blurred than with the water frozen at a high shutter speed.

However I still have many questions that need answers. Please try to help me:

1- Why do indoor pictures (portraits) look dark without flash, even at a higher ISO at 800 and aperture at 3.5f and shutter around 1/200. What are the best settings for an indoor good portrait?

This has to do with the VERY LARGE difference in light levels from indoors vs. outdoors. Outdoors on a sunny day, the sun provides a very predictable amount of light. A bright sunny day works out to Ev 15. Ev is "Exposure value" and the simple rule is that Ev = Av + Tv

Av is "Aperture value"
Tv is "Time value"

Here's a table:




Av
0
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
Tv

1.0
1.4
2.0
2.8
4.0
5.6
8.0
11
16
22
32
0
1s
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
1
1/2
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
2
1/4
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
3
1/8
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
4
1/15
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
5
1/30
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
6
1/60
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
7
1/125
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
8
1/250
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
9
1/500
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
10
1/1000
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20



Across the top I've labeled the Av and the Tv is listed down the left side.

A bright sunny day can use the "sunny 16" exposure. That rule says the aperture can be set to 16 and the shutter can be set to the inverse of the ISO. If you were shooting at ISO 100, then it'd be f/16 and 1/100th.

On our table, we can see that f/16 is Av 8.
We don't have a 1/100th, but we have 1/125 (which is pretty close) and that's Tv 7.

8 + 7 = 15. So our exposure is Ev 15.

If you look at all the boxes with 15's in them (there's a diagonal stripe of them) ALL of those exposures add up to Ev 15. They'd all work on a bright sunny day.

Inside my office right now I've got a few lamps on. When I use my light hand held light meter it tells me it's about Ev 5 (it varies depending on if I move a little closer or farther from my desk lamp).

Each 1 full "Ev" difference represents a halving or doubling of the amount of light. Going from Ev 15 down to Ev 5 is TEN full stops of difference. That's 2 to the power of 10. 2^10 actually works out to 1024. That means there is less than 1/1000th of the light in my room right now then there is outside on a bright sunny day.

YES... the difference really is that much! I know it hardly seems like it, but that's the math. Your eyes have fantastic "dynamic range" so they can adapt to these difference much better than your camera can.

When you open your aperture from f/16 down to f/3.5 that's a difference of about 4 1/3rd stops. You've got 5 2/3rds more stops to go. When you boost your ISO from 100 up to 800 that's 3 more stops. That's a total of 7 1/3rd stops ... you're just 2 2/3rds stops short. But then... tragically you reduced the exposure time by half. Instead of leaving the shutter open for 1/100th... you cut it to 1/200th -- so you lose a stop. You could should have gone the other way. Had you increased the ISO to 1600 you'd gain one stop, then increase the exposure time to 1/25th and you'd gain 2 more stops. That would be more than enough light.

Keep in mind that the amount of light in a room is HIGHLY variable depending on whether there are nearby windows, lamps, the brightness of those lamps and the distance to the subject from the lamps and windows. I'm just using my office as an example. Your rooms will surely all be quite different.

2- Considering the portraits indoors, I take some good portraits with flash on but still, the background is not fully blurred even the whole focus is on the face of the one I am portraying? It appears a little blurry but not that one I see in many photos where objects are like melted together to the level of no recognition? How can I reach that? Is it possible indoors? Or only outdoors where little is plenty?

This is based on three factors.

1: The focal ratio being used. Lower focal ratios are better. The decrease the "depth of field" (the range at which things appear to be reasonably well focused) and increase the intensity of blur in the out of focus areas. E.g. f/3.5 is going to create a fairly mild amount of blur. f/2.8 would be better. f/2 would be much better. f/1.4 would be "so much better" that your subjects entire face would possibly not be focused (the depth of field becomes so narrow that it's likely not deep enough for everything from the nose to the ears to be in acceptable focus.)

2: The focal LENGTH of the lens. Wide angle lenses naturally have very broad depth of field. I have a 14mm lens that I can set to f/2.8 and if I focus it to about 3' the whole world is in focus. That's because it's a very wide (very short focal length) lens. The longer the focal length, the more the depth of field is compressed and the background blur is increased. You'll get a nice amount of blur at f/2 with a 50mm lens. But shoot f/2 with a 135mm lens and you'll REALLY have some intense blur.

3: The subject's distance from the lens. The depth of field naturally becomes thinner as the subject is closer. If you want stronger blur, put your subject close, but put your background far away. I generally _never_ take a photo of a person standing immediately up against a wall... I put a nice amount of distance between my subject and the background. This lets me get a beautifully sharp subject and yet a beautifully blurred background.

Do all three of these and you'll have deliciously creamy background blur!

3-Similarly to aperture question number 1, when it comes to taking sporty photos like my brothers running in doors, pictures are still dark without the flash. What are the best settings?

Use flash. I'm not kidding. Refer to my answer to your first question. To take the shot in natural light at f/3.5 required ISO 1600 (which might have a fair bit of image "noise") and I'd still have to increase the shutter speed to 1/25th. You could go buy a nice low focal ratio lens, but that would only buy you about 1 to 2 stops... not enough to get you into the shutter speed range for "action" shots.

You need to supplement the light and the best way to do that is with a flash. This is a whole new learning experience. There are ways to use flash so that it wont "look" like you're using flash... you'll just have fantastic looking photos.

4- Last question, generally, to take sporty photos or portraits, should the shutter be higher in sporty photos and aperture lower (larger f number) or aperture doesnt make a difference? The same question to get blurred backgrounds behind the one getting portrayed, should aperture be higher and shutter is lower like 1\10 for example, or shouldnt make difference?

Thank you in advance.

It's just a matter of priority.

When I approach a shot I think through the following:

1: Do I need to be in a hurry to take this shot? Are there any constraints? If no... then I have a theoretically infinite amount of time to get the shot. I could put the camera on a tripod so that it's not moving and use any combination of shutter or aperture to get the shot right. In this case I want to control my depth of field. So I'll keep a low ISO (to reduce noise), pick the f-stop I want (for the depth of field) and then pick whatever shutter speed is necessary to get the right amount of light.

2: If the subject IS moving then exposure time becomes a constraint. The situation forces me to use a shutter speed that can freeze action (unless I want to deliberately blur an element of the shot -- but even that is a constraint.) So I set the shutter speed first, to whatever it needs to be. If I realize there's not a lot of light then I set the shutter speed to collect as much as possible (taking care not to squeeze the depth of field so narrow as to create blurry subjects. If my subjects are spread near and far then this constrains my aperture). Then I set the ISO last to balance the shot.
 

EDL

No longer a newbie, moving up!
Joined
Apr 25, 2012
Messages
697
Reaction score
53
Location
Western Pennsylvania
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
1- Why do indoor pictures (portraits) look dark without flash, even at a higher ISO at 800 and aperture at 3.5f and shutter around 1/200. What are the best settings for an indoor good portrait?

There is no "best" setting. It all depends on the amount of light and the lens you are using. In your case f/3.5 is the fastest your lens will go at it's widest zoom setting of 18mm. If you zoom in to 55mm then the f stop drops to f/5.6 as the fastest it can go. With a portrait you have some control of the lighting. You can add more light with a flash or change the physical location you take the shot to where there is more light if you don't want to use a flash.

2- Considering the portraits indoors, I take some good portraits with flash on but still, the background is not fully blurred even the whole focus is on the face of the one I am portraying? It appears a little blurry but not that one I see in many photos where objects are like melted together to the level of no recognition? How can I reach that? Is it possible indoors? Or only outdoors where little is plenty?

In your case, try putting the subject further away from any background objects and use the fastest aperture you can (lower f stop number). In your case, this would be f/3.5 (and 18mm on the zoom). This will require you to move the camera closer or further from the subject to get the framing you want instead of using the zoom ring on the lens (if you zoom in to frame the subject you will cause the f stop setting to change).

3-Similarly to aperture question number 1, when it comes to taking sporty photos like my brothers running in doors, pictures are still dark without the flash. What are the best settings?

4- Last question, generally, to take sporty photos or portraits, should the shutter be higher in sporty photos and aperture lower (larger f number) or aperture doesnt make a difference? The same question to get blurred backgrounds behind the one getting portrayed, should aperture be higher and shutter is lower like 1\10 for example, or shouldnt make difference?

Thank you in advance.

Yes, aperture absolutely matters. Portraits and action shots are two very different shooting circumstances. For sports, particularly indoor or night shooting you will typically opt for a fast aperture (lower f stop number) to gather the most light you can quickly which allows you to get faster shutter speeds. Your kit lens, unfortunately is probably not going to be up to the job of indoor or night sports shooting. Depending on the event or particular sport however, it's not always a bad thing to have some blur in your shot to show movement. You can also choose to up the ISO to 1600 or even 3200. The trade off is added noise, but you may be able to handle some of that in post processing and still end up with good shots. For portraits you should try to control lighting and shoot at the lowest ISO you can.

Aperture also controls Depth of Field (DOF). The faster settings (lower f stop number) decreases the DOF, but allows more light in a given amount of time. Slower (higher f stop number) increases DOF, but lets in less light which will require a slower shutter speed for a given amount of illumination.
 

Most reactions

Top