Suzanne ... for this "fill the frame" challenge, you've illustrated the point VERY well! LOVE your crepe myrtles, btw.
FYI ... my 50mm won't focus up close either. So when I want macro-ish shots, I will usually grab my 18mm-20mm, step back, and then zoom in all the way. Just a little side note.
I love #1. It's an explosion of color and the directional light is really well used here (imho). I like the aperture setting you used so that the whole set of blooms in in focus. You got really nice bokeh of the background and that helps make these pop. The strong light is _just_ on the border of being too harsh, but you used it very well here.
#2 is probably my favorite. What great use of a leading/trailing line! When/if you go to edit this photo, I would probably crop off the top left corner - it keeps drawing my eye away from the pretty blooms. I think that is due to the change in color and light there. this is a lovely shot. Did you get below the blooms to set your background? However you framed it, it really works for me!
#3 illustrates very well how you start to lose your subject at this range. There is no clear subject and I think that is what hurts at this range. Perhaps if there was only 1 set of blooms, an angle like this might work.
BTW ... very cool shot of the dragon fly/damsel fly (I admit, I don't know the difference).
As always, TFS!
I'm so glad you decided to try this "fill the frame" challenge too! And I'm tickled that you decided now was a good time to jump to manual as well. I know it's tricky and it may take a while before you feel truly comfortable, but the more you do it, the easier it will get. I promise! :D
So let's get into some CC ....
1. Suzanne has already mentioned that he's pretty centered. And usually, we try to shy away from that. But your shot here shows that, when you "fill the frame" with your subject like this that other composition rules like lining up prominent features on the 1/3 lines you can break other rules. Your little guy and his adorable eyes are the focus of the shot. I really love how you have used the truck to provide a clean white background. With a little tweaking in your post processing this could be a very successful "high key" image. I also think you did a nice job of using directional light here and think this image would be a good candidate for converting to black and white (like the rule of thirds, we'll be visiting conversions a bit later).
2. I love this moment you caught here. your boy playing w/ his car next to the big car is a super cute idea. Looks to me like focus fell mainly on his hand and the truck. And there's nothing wrong with that, but I find myself wishing his face was in better focus. This can be done in two ways - you could either set your focal point on his face specifically or you can close down your aperture so that you have a deeper field of depth. You have your aperture set to f/5.0. You might try closing that down to f/8.0. It looks to me like you got down nice and low - on his level - for this shot and that is the perfect angle, imho. I almost suggested a portrait crop rather than landscape, but really, I like how you have used the car behind him to set the tone of the photo and you might lose that in a portrait crop. I think the one thing I would try is to move him further to the left in the frame. And if that is not possible, then you might try a portrait crop.
3. I think, more than anyone else so far (myself included) you really used this distance well. And this shows that while there are some really great rules/suggestions for compositions, there are ALWAYS exceptions! You have used the truck behind your son so well in each of these shots - though in each shot, you have used it differently. Great job! Focus is off in this one. It seems to me that the focus fell on the truck (on the running boards) and not on your DS. Like in #2, I would really like to see your DS more to the left in the frame. And again, if that is not possible (due to space limitations, etc) then you might think about trying a portrait crop at this distance.
These settings look pretty good for outside. Was it cloudy out? Normally when you are outside, especially on bright sunny days, you won't need an ISO that high. In fact, when outside, I usually sick to either an ISO of 100 or 200. But if it's cloudy, you might need the higher ISO like you have here. To lessen the impact of the background, the easiest fix is to open your aperture more. You have all of these shots at f/5.0. If you could open up to 3.0 or more (2.8 perhaps) then the background would be nicely blurred and would help your son to stand out more from his surroundings. Another way to achieve this would be move him further away from the background - in this case further from the truck.
Candids, especially in and around the home, are hard to get w/out the clutter of background "stuff." For me, I find this when I go out to shoot pictures at my son's soccer games. All of the parents have to sit on particular sides and I am limited where I can go to catch the action, so there is almost always something cluttering the shot (other parents, trash cans, etc). I try to really fill the frame with my son when that is the case so that there just isn't room for competing elements. Opening up your aperture will also help since that will blur everything else.
As for using these same settings inside, I think you would have to make a few adjustments. First, you would need to raise your ISO a good bit. You were at ISO 400 outside, so I would suggest bumping up to 600 or better inside. You'll also have to open your aperture a good deal more inside. I would say probably f/3.2 or more.
If you want a "suggestion" for where to place your settings, put your camera in auto and take a shot and then look to see where it set the camera. In time, you will have a better feel for where to start.
Also, we are going to cover understanding your light meter soon - once everyone is back on a dSLR - so hang in there for now and know we'll be coming back to it soon.
Thanks for sharing1 I really love how you used the environment to set the tone of these photos! And I really look forward to what you show next!
Thanks for all the great CC, Gigi! I struggle with focus, especially since I like to focus and then recompose. It's become a bit more difficult for me to use that technique with this D7000. I've only had it for a few months, and even at the single focus point setting, it seems to want to refocus, like I have it at continuous (but I don't!). It's just a nuance I have to get used to, I guess :lol: Or maybe there's a setting I'm missing, or maybe I should just use different focal points instead of just the center one. Ha, ha, there's never just one answer in photography :D As for the blown side of her face, yeah...those were taken in our sun room, where we have lots of windows, and she was actually sitting right in front of one in those particular shots. I wish there were a way to filter the light a bit, so that it's not so harsh. If only I could get her to sit still for a bit and stay off the windows :ROFL: I do have a grey card somewhere. I need to figure out how to do custom white balance.
I picked that angle on that crepe myrtle specifically for the lighting. I'm glad my vision came through even though it's a bit on the harsh side :D It was a little after noon, and the sky was very clear when I took it. That location is at the university campus where I work. There are beautiful water lilies out there that I plan on trying to get when I can bring my zoom telephoto lens with me. And that dragonfly--oh my goodness, the autofocus struggle! There wasn't much contrast, with the grass and sticks all being green and brown, so I had to switch my focus to manual too. I think that's the first time I've gotten a decent pic in manual focus.
Suzanne ... I moved away from the single center focus for just that reason. You can still focus and recompose w/ the multiple points like you are family with now using the single point. I got a lot better focus once I made that switch. And it really does get easier to toggle between focal points once you get in the habit.
And WTG for using manual focus! I only do that when I absolutely HAVE to (like at the zoo when I want to focus past the bars, etc).
I am going to join if y'all don't mind :)
I am a mom of two boys 5 and 2, work in the semiconductor industry as an engineer. Been into photography, as a hobby since 2007, when my son was born. I own a Canon 7D. I can't justify to DH getting a full frame, since this is just a hobby for me. I feel I am stuck in a rut. I have not touched my camera for over 2-3 months now. I've been just lazy. I used to be very active here but lurked for the most part. I am hoping by joining the lurker group, it can kick me off again taking pictures.
Here is a sample of an SOOC - it's a messy room sorry about that...
Here it is re-edited.. tried to get rid of the clutter.. still shows... lol
Here is a better picture
SOOC vs edited (got to fix those orange ears lol)
Welcome El! I'm so glad you decided to join us - I can never get enough pics of your adorable boys. :D
Right now we're working on a composition assignment since one of our members has an injured camera and has had to revert to using her p&s. Check post #14 for the details, but the basic idea is to take a shot up close where you fill around 70% of the frame with your subject, take a few steps back, recompose and shoot again, and then another few steps back (or zoom out) and shoot again.
"Filling the frame" was the first piece of photography advice I was ever given and I have found that with many of my shots, this is a good place to get started - especially with portrait style shots. And thus the motivation for the assignment.
Again, I'm so very glad you can join us! Jump in and offer CC to all those who post and then start snapping away!
Here is my CC on your photo. I have not read the other CCs, so I apologize ahead if it has been said already.
Originally Posted by reeveslady
This is a lovely picture. I find it hard to shoot full sun without blowing anything, unless you have an OCF. Your focus is really good. I think you could have opened up your aperture to get more of the bokeh and up your SS. Since you have plenty of light. Great composition, on the dragonfly!
Here is my CC -
Originally Posted by lizzib45
First, congrats in switching to manual mode - there is so much possibilities with this mode :)
You can definitely play with your ISO, shutter speed and aperture. I think the Lurker #1 group with Stephanie has some pointers with playing around with this.
Lighting is pretty important to get a good exposure on your picture. Also for background just find something that isn't too distracting. If you look at the 3rd picture your eyes tend to go to the black parts in the background.
Here is my attempt. I should have changed my pillow cases :) Also, since I shot this indoors with not enough light, I cheated and used my speedlight :)
ISO f3.5, SS1/80, ISO400
Wow, El, I really admire your speedlight work! These aren't looking flashy at all, and the catchlights in his eyes are very natural :D