New to Photography

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by mpotapa, Jan 3, 2016.

  1. mpotapa

    mpotapa TPF Noob!

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    Five months ago my wife and I had our first child, so I decided to get rid of my point and shoot camera and get something I could take better pictures with. I went with a Sony a6000. I am very happy with the camera. I finally was able to read up and took the camera off auto mode. Here is a picture I took while messing around. I actually had my 55-210mm lens on it and was using the pop up flash. I was pointing at the ceiling to try and see what it would do to my photos. I was very happy with this photo, but what could I do to improve future photos? My living room is rather dark. I will eventually get a 35mm or 50mm fast prime lens. I also just bought an external flash which seems to work well.

    [​IMG]


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  2. Designer

    Designer Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    This shot has a bit of humor, but the background is distracting, and the overall composition is not very good.

    The light from the ceiling is almost too hot on the tops of your subjects, and the lower parts are in shade. I think you should try this a few more times and aim your flash backward, bouncing off a wall or large white cardboard, so the light is coming more straight-on to your subjects. Even better would be over to one side so you get more modeling.

    As for posing a baby and a dog, well, good luck!
     
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  3. mpotapa

    mpotapa TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the input. I wasn't really planning to take a photo, I was just trying to learn some of the settings but then the dog came up to him so I decided to try and take a photo. If I were to set this up again I would pick a different spot.


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  4. JoeW

    JoeW Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Welcome to this site and to the addiction...er, uh, hobby of photography.

    And thanks for sharing this shot. I agree with Designer--lovely candid, some nice humor.

    First, shoot on aperture priority and use an aperture of about 2.0/2.5 for good portraits. Then focus on the eyes. You'll get some pleasing bokeh around the subject and you'll lose the distracting background and foreground.

    Second, you've already learned a smart tip most people with cameras don't get--when shooting dogs and babies/toddlers, GET DOWN ON THEIR LEVEL. So you're already ahead of the game in some respects. Nice angle to this shot.

    Third, regarding lighting...soft lighting is your friend. It is more romantic, it softens skin blemishes, it flatters everyone. So you can use things are reflectors (a white shirt, a white wall, a large piece of foam core). Shooting on an overcast day where there is no direct sun will produce a softer light with less glare. Bouncing a speed light off of the ceiling and walls will produce a softer light. Using a scrim (either a sheet in front of a light or a soft box) will produce a softer light.

    Fourth, you can compensate for low light by raising the ISO and shooting with a wider aperture (which is where a 35mm or 50mm prime will make you a happy camper).

    Keep up the good work and keep posting.
     
  5. mpotapa

    mpotapa TPF Noob!

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    Thanks, right now I believe the lowest I can go with aperture is 3.5 on the kit lens. So once I get a different one I'll defiantly go lower.


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  6. JoeW

    JoeW Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    There is a lot of software (and no, I'm not talking the expensive stuff, some of it is free or a cheap app, I think Photos on a Mac can do this) that will allow you to create your own bokeh and blur the surroundings. So until you get an f1.8 35mm or f1.4 50mm prime, that could be something to play with.
     
  7. dennybeall

    dennybeall No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I'd crop the dickens out of this shot. Bring the left side almost to the baby's shoulder and the right side almost to the dogs collar and bring the bottom up so just a little bit of blanket is visible. The eye contact makes a heck of a shot IMHO it would win some contests cropped down.
     

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