First Shots With a DSLR

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by mfdrookie516, Feb 9, 2012.

  1. mfdrookie516

    mfdrookie516 TPF Noob!

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    Here are my first shots with my T3i and 100mm f/2.8. I'd really appreciate some advice on improving them, as I've tried a few different settings, and these came out the best (IMO at least). These are all taken in my aquarium last night, only an hour or two after getting my camera in. I should add that these were all taken 'free hand', as I have yet to get a tripod. That's definitely the next thing on my list, as there were easily 200+ shots, most of which were a bit out of focus, from my unsteady hand.

    Bangaii Cardinal (Pterapogon kauderni). Please excuse the water spots on the glass.

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    Skunk Cleaner Shrimp (Lysmata amboinensis). This is pretty much the only view I ever get of it.

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    Pink Spotted Watchman Goby (Cryptocentrus leptocephalus)

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  2. mfdrookie516

    mfdrookie516 TPF Noob!

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    I also tried a few shots on a dollar bill. My biggest problem was getting it straight up and down while not blocking the light (also don't have a flash yet). Interesting at the detail you don't really see when looking at a dollar bill.

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  3. punch

    punch Guest

    I don't know how easy it is to get clear shots in an aquarium... has anyone else tried this?

    The shot of the bill is pretty clear; I would increase the exposure though because it feels dark to me. And it's a tad crooked, so straighten that.

    The 100mm is hard to use without a tripod, I find, but it's really heavy in my hands, that may not be an issue for you. :)
     
  4. Austin Greene

    Austin Greene Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Congrats on the new camera!

    As for the first few photos of your fish, the images being blurry looks to me like its more the product of poor focus then motion blur from camera shake. Your EXIF says you shot the top photo at 1/125, which isn't necessarily the fastest speed for shooting a fish swimming about. If thats the problem, try turning your SS up a bit, and then adjust your ISO accordingly. You've got a great little group of potential subjects there, just be sure your focusing on the fish, and not the aquarium wall (which will lower sharpness anyways).

    As for the dollar, there definitely is a lot of detail that the average joe misses. Your photo is a bit underexposed also I believe.

    Still, enjoy the T3i! I have one and I love it :)

    Keep shooting!
     
  5. mfdrookie516

    mfdrookie516 TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the feedback. I'm thinking my issue is that I'm focusing, then moving ever so slightly before the picture is taken. I'm going to try your suggestions. I will say, shooting fish is VERY difficult. They aren't very cooperative when you want them to stay still. I've seen some amazing shots through a glass aquarium, and I also plan on getting a 'top down box' which is an acrylic box that allows clear shots down in to the tank from the top.

    As I mentioned above I *think* the poor focus was a result of my inability to hold still after focusing. Tripod will be here Monday, so that'll tell me if I'm somehow thinking it's focused and it's not, or if I was focusing it, then throwing it off. I'm going to try both of your suggestions once I get my tripod in, as I literally spent 4 hours getting those shots. I appreciate your feedback as well :)
     
  6. mfdrookie516

    mfdrookie516 TPF Noob!

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    Took a few more pictures tonight, since it was snowing. I'm hoping the weather man is right and it snows tomorrow. If so, I'm going out first thing and taking pictures. This is addicting. Anyhoo, I tinkered around and got a shot I am very happy with. My next task is to get Photoshop reinstalled and start learning how to use it.

    Any thoughts on this one?

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  7. SCraig

    SCraig Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Yes, I have two tanks and shoot the occupants from time to time.

    The focus issues you are seeing aren't from not holding the camera steady they are from depth of field. The first two shots were at f/2.8 and the third at f/5.6. F/2.8 gives a depth of field too narrow to capture the subject well. The blue tint is, of course, from the lighting in the tank.

    You need to read up on exposure. There are three items that contribute to a properly exposed image; ISO, shutter speed, and aperture. If you change any one of those you have to change one of the others to maintain a proper exposure which is why we refer to it as the "Exposure Triangle". One side of a triangle cannot be changed without changing one of the other sides. Which element to change is up to the photographer but there are pros and cons to each, and knowing which to choose for a given situation is what comes with experience.

    The best way I have found to shoot fish is with an off-camera flash on top of the tank pointing down into the water. You can also use an off-camera flash and put the lens right against the glass, but that tends to frighten the fish. Forget about using the built-in flash, all you will get is a ball of light from reflections on the glass.
     
  8. harriknight

    harriknight TPF Noob!

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    I like the detail in the bill picture, but the others are kind of bland. When I got my first camera a lot of people suggested to me to not bother editing or uploading any of my photos for about a month, then after a month go back and review them and choose your best ten photos to upload to flickr/thephotoforum/etc. for feedback. It helps give you a sense of what makes a photo good or bad when you have a lot of your own pictures to sort through and can see what was wrong with each of them when compared to the ones you've taken that you thought were good. It was hard at first to not share my pictures right away, but it's worth it in the end, haha.;)



    EDIT: Also,

    Here's a good article about this:
    http://www.cambridgeincolour.com/tutorials/camera-exposure.htm

    That website has a ton of good tutorials for photography.
     
  9. Kombipete

    Kombipete TPF Noob!

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    I can attest to that! They would have to be the darndest things to get in focus and nicely framed. Your Pink Spotted Watchman would have been a beauty if it was in focus. You're doing much better than I have! Go for it! :)
     
  10. mfdrookie516

    mfdrookie516 TPF Noob!

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    I've been working all weekend on the triangle. I think I'm starting to understand it. Today I took some pics that blew my first ones out of the water. I decided to download picasa and play around with cropping. I haven't tried anything else, but I'll be getting photoshop before I start expirementing with everything.

    Here's a green millepora coral that I got some awesome detail on. One of the big problems I had was having to speed up the shutter to prevent blur from the movement. I've since found that turning the flow off in the tank is probably the best idea. Obviously photographing my favorite hobby (at least until now) is going to be a lot of fun, but definitely not the only thing I plan on. Since the bugs and flowers aren't out yet around here, I'll stick to the tank for macro shots for now... plus it'll be a good learning experience.

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    I'm still having some issues with focusing. I also just tested out the © deal to see how it looked. Hopefully, one of these days, I'll actually have pictures that are worth having that on there.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2012
  11. JohnYoga

    JohnYoga TPF Noob!

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    Your dollar bill shot is awesome! I don't know much, but, perhaps it is a pinch underexposed?

    John
     

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