this is the first photo I've posted looking for c&c.

DobermanTech

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This was shot with a canon 1D Mk IV, with a nifty fifty and canon AF lens tube. I shot on manual, wide open at 1.8 at 1/1600 shutter and 800 ISO. It was taken inside my local zoo in a conservatory, with glass and translucent plastic on the walls, with no artificial lighting. The frog was a little over a half inch wide. I shoot dog sports as a profession, but rarely ever shoot something other than that, so i am new to "artistic photography". Thoughts or suggestions? Would love to hear how I can improve.
$ABmEre5.jpeg
 

SCraig

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You didn't need 1/1600 second for that shot. I would have traded a lot of that shutter speed for a narrower aperture for some more depth of field.
 
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DobermanTech

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I did actually choose that shutter. The body had no problem running up to 6400 iso cleanly, so light amount wasn't the issue. I was free handing the camera at a very awkward angle very close to the frog. I did try some at lower speeds, and they didn't look as sharp, just because I was so unsteady. How much wider of a depth of field should I have gone for?
 

SCraig

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You were shooting at, what, 6" to a foot from the frog? It's unlikely that you could have gotten the entire critter in focus no matter what you did but perhaps the front feet?

I usually use a flash when I shoot them at the zoo here and that helps since it does help freeze the motion of being in an uncomfortable position. Yes, I do know that position to ;)

Good shot though. I love those little guys.

This one was at 1/60 second with a flash and f/8 at ISO 400.
2010-12-27-06.jpg


This one was at 1/60 second with flash and f/16 at ISO 200.
2012-01-08-10.jpg
 
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DobermanTech

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And would there be an advantage to using a slower shutter speed, aside from more light?
 

cgipson1

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And would there be an advantage to using a slower shutter speed, aside from more light?

You could have stopped down your aperture... which would have required a lower shutter speed, but would have increased your DOF a bit. That would have improved the image. You don't need to use a fast shutter speed with a 50mm, unless you are trying to stop subject motion ( I am assuming you are familiar with the Reciprocal Focal Length rule?). With a 1d, you could have raised your ISO up and stopped down even further. Flash would have helped even more (although you have to know how to use it with a reflective surface in between you and the subject.
 
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DobermanTech

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I was about 5" away. My body doesn't have a flash, and I lack the finances for a speed light. I chose the wide open aperture to make certain parts of the image stand out. I tried to keep the focal plane in like with other objects like the leaf and tree trunk. Forgive my inexperience, I am used to action photos. In this kind of shot, is it more appealing to keep EVERYTHING in focus?
 

cgipson1

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I was about 5" away. My body doesn't have a flash, and I lack the finances for a speed light. I chose the wide open aperture to make certain parts of the image stand out. I tried to keep the focal plane in like with other objects like the leaf and tree trunk. Forgive my inexperience, I am used to action photos. In this kind of shot, is it more appealing to keep EVERYTHING in focus?

Typically with a shot like this, the more of the subject that is in focus, the better. Look at the images Scott posted.... do you see where the increased DOF makes the image more appealing? Using tubes will decrease your DOF a good bit, and you can use your aperture to compensate for that. Were you using the standard Canon 50mm 1.8... that lens is not really that sharp wide open anyway...(it is a $100 lens).. it needs to be stopped down a good bit...
 
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SCraig

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I was about 5" away. My body doesn't have a flash, and I lack the finances for a speed light. I chose the wide open aperture to make certain parts of the image stand out. I tried to keep the focal plane in like with other objects like the leaf and tree trunk. Forgive my inexperience, I am used to action photos. In this kind of shot, is it more appealing to keep EVERYTHING in focus?
No! The so-called rules of composition still apply, and having your background out of focus is still effective. However, in my opinion, it is more appealing to have most of your subject in focus. It's common in macro photography to have a very limited depth of field so it's not unusual to see parts of the subject out of focus, but when possible keeping as much of it in focus as possible is preferable.

Shooting at 1/1600 and f/1.8 was a very fast shutter speed combined with a very wide aperture. This gave you a very narrow depth of field. A 1D Mk IV at 5', 50mm, f/1.8 has a depth of field of 0.24' or right at 3". Shooting at 1/200 second, f/5 at 5' and 50mm would have given the same exposure but with a depth of field of 0.69' or about 8" allowing you to get the entire frog in focus.
 

Benco

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I don't know what nifty fifty you were using but something else to bear in mind is that a lot of cheap, fast fiftys are not that great at their fastest, they're good lenses to be sure but not neccessarily at their best wide open. If you're shooting at 1/1600 you've got room to step down a bit, this will not only increase your DOF but might (depending on your lens) give better sharpness too.
 

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