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Help me!!!

JaimeGibb

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Occoquan, VA
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Alright so I don't post often, and when I do, it's always pictures of my neice and nephew...well here are some shots I did today. It was one of those, "Hey do you have your camera? Great! Let's get some family shots. We are all just going to wear fleeces! Is that ok?" It was freezing and they wanted something quick and casual, so ignore the clothing, and look at the style. It was literally a 15 min shoot. Basically, I see all these crystal clear photos you folks post and I can't seem to get mine to look like that. There is somethig...fuzzy about them and I don't know what it is. Is it because the flash isn't going off because they were taken outside? I am still new to my camera and photography, partially because I don't practice enough, so pick it apart and tell me what to fix and HOW TO FIX IT!!! Thanks guys!

PS: If you critiqued my last pics with these two with pumpkins on the staires, and are thinking "why does she keep using those staires?", it's because they are pretty and are in the families backyard...they liked the pumpkin ones so much that they wanted this one on the staires too.

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Ok I am doing the "preview post" thing and now they look fuzzy and weird because they were uploaded to Webshots and then to here...and the pixels are weird. But look BEYOND the pixels..haha..do you know what I mean? Usually they are sharp, even if the pixel count is low.

Ahhh I am a mess!!
 
They look good! looks like there is some interesting vignetting going on(was this an added effect?), What camera/ lens/ settings were you using. They look a touch soft, but nothing some sharpening couldnt fix.
 
I see all these crystal clear photos you folks post and I can't seem to get mine to look like that. There is somethig... fuzzy about them and I don't know what it is.

Usually they are sharp, even if the pixel count is low.

Those two kind of contradict each other. I'm confused.

Perhaps we can see some of your Professional shots to compare with these. I know when I photo family, things always go awry. :)

I like the fun in the last photo. :) Cute kids.
 
AH sorry, I shoot with a Cannon EOS 20D with the standard 18-55mm lens, no particular settings, just the Automatic Programming mode...I know, lame. I need to learn.

About the pixel count thing...I guess I don't know what I mean. Ha! Either way, when I zoom in to one of their faces, it's all pixelated, and I hate that. I want a crystal clear, full of color photo. And I know a lot of that has to do with a nice lens, right? Poop...
 
Oh and I did blur the edges subimatt. And the thing is, like I said, when I zoom in they are kinda fuzzy, but when I sharpen it looks worse zoomed in. Like the edges of the pixels get so sharp I can actually see the little boxes of the pixels.
 
what aperture did you shoot at? what was the focus point?
 
I...don't know. I know, I'm sorry, but it just does it automatically. I really do not know.
 
do you have an orginal copy you mind sending me? I can take a look at it in lightroom and possibly shed some more light on things. [email protected]
 
I think your photos look fine. You may be experiencing some of the limitations of the kit lens.

Using Multiple focus points and full auto can sometimes be a bad idea. I would recommend using one focus point and AV mode so you can control the DOF more.

I hope that makes sense
 
For what it's worth, I think these are really cute and well done for a spur of the moment 15 minute shoot:) That dog must be really well behaved too. I have had some crazy shoots with dogs and really young children. Boy are they hard!
I think you should force yourself to learn to shoot manually. That way you can control how your shots come out better. I think shooting in auto makes it hard to prevent hotspots from occuring (like on the little baby's hat).
Do you have your manual for your 20D? Start with a certain subject you want to know more about (apertures for instance) and mess around with switching it around so that you can see what the different settings do to your photos. I know I am a very hands on learner and I have to actually mess around with changing everything by hand and comparing how the different photographs come out to really get how my camera works.
I agree that if you are using a kit lens it may be part of your problem with not getting nice sharp images. If you can afford it, try upgrading to a 50mm 1.8 lens and practice with that instead. It's really a good learners lens. I went all through college with my completely manual Canon AE-1 with my 50 mm lens;) It's fixed so it forces you to move around to get the best composition too which I think is a plus when you are first learning.
One more thing, in the future, when photographing those adorable twins, push them really close together!
 
You guys are amazing, thank you for everything, including the kind words!! Subimatt, I'll soot you an email. If anyone wants to make a personal edits, please feel free. I love the differing opinions. And thanks for the lens advice April...that is a good portrait lens?? I definitly need to invest in a new lens.
 
Jaime,
I'm no expert but I agree with others that your photos look great. It's hard to tell whats wrong without more info. Going from 'P' mode to 'manual' is a big leap. Try 'Av' first. The kit lens is sharpest at about f8/f11, so set that and set the camera set the shutter speed.
If the pics seem pixilated, check the compression setting (read the manual for how to change) and make sure it's not on the highest compression. Again 'Raw' may be a bit of a leap, but the lowest compression ratio will give a better quality.

Andy
 
Awesome. It makes me feel better having you folks telling me that they look good. I saw someone elses family picture and my first, knee-jerk reaction was "AH! Those are so much better than mine!!" And on my way home all I could picture was the above posted family, but dark and fuzzy and cropped funky and dull...it was horrible I tell ya.
 

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