A few for CC

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daniellec.parker's picture
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A few for CC

Okay, so I'm going to give this a try. I took all of these in auto mode with the flash turned off, but I have listed the specs the camera used. I haven't really had the time to figure out how to use the camera in manual yet. Sad I haven't done any pp. I know that the focus is off-- it's something I need to learn to do in manual. What else could I do to make them better?

f/4.3 exposure 1/20 sec ISO 800
P7294983

f/3.5 1/50 sec ISO 800
P7294945

f/5 1/25 sec ISO 800
P7294840

And I know this last one is just a snap shot, but I was wondering if there is anything I could have done while taking the picture to get the color tones right-- or at least better. It just looks orange.
f/4.7 1/15 sec ISO 800
P7284676

Thanks. Smile

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Your little ones are TOO precious!!

The main thing I see is some motion blur because your shutter speed is very slow. It looks like you were just lacking ample light in there, so I'm sure you didn't have much choice but to go that slow since your ISO was already up at 800. What lens are you using? I'd use the widest aperture possible in that low light setting (smallest f-stop number), and that'll help. I try to use shutter speed of at least 1/200 when shooting little ones, although I'm guilty of using 1/125 and 1/160 frequently, and it usually still works out okay for me. I think a rule of thumb for non-moving objects is to have the shutter speed be at least the same as the focal length to avoid motion blur, just from your own moving/breathing/shaking (so for 50mm, don't go below 1/50, or 100mm don't go below 1/100, etc)... But for babies/children, you usually need to increase it more because they move so much. The only other thing is maybe a white balance issue... They look yellow to me. I'd say the focus and color look best in #3 to me, and I LOVE those smiles!!

daniellec.parker's picture
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Thank you. Smile

I battle with lighting in this house all the time. Their nursery gets the most light too. I had both blinds open (except the rocking horse ones because it put a glare on their faces...) The over head light, the lamp, and then the light between their closets too. That's why they look a little yellow-- all of the artificial light I had to use. After taking those pictures I told DH I wanted to get a flash for my camera so I could bounce it. Yeah... I'd love to drop $500 on one. Even the $240 one. But alas, with the twins money is tight. And my ISO goes up to 3200.... when would I ever use that? Seriously, just curious. I know that the higher the ISO the grainier it looks. Could I have gone a little higher? I'm just using the kit lens. It says 14-42mm...

marymoonu's picture
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I don't have a flash either... I really want one, but just don't want to spend the money either right now. As for ISO... I try not to use over 800, but I do use 1600 on occasion (at night). IMO, even some grain looks better than harsh flash, red eye, etc. I'll tell you what I also have been using. I think it's called Professor Kobre's Lightscoop. It's only like $25. All it is is a little mirror thing that slides into the hot shoe, right over the flash. It reflects your flash up onto a wall or ceiling behind you... It allows you to use your flash, but it really diffuses the light to avoid that harsh flash look, and it gives you about a full extra stop of light. It's of course no substitute for just having ample light or using off-camera lighting, but for me on the cheap, it has really been awesome... And it gives great catch-lights in the eyes also!

Here's a link if you want to check it out.
http://www.lightscoop.com/what-is-lightscoop.html

TracyF's picture
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Your kids are adorable! I'm actually really amazed how sharp the photos are considering the low shutter speed. If you get some noise at higher ISOs, try running the images through noiseware. It helps immensely. On my piddly point-and-shoot I can't go above ISO 400 without terrible noise, but I can go to 400 and run it through noiseware and it looks 1,000 times better. Just something to play around with, at least. Gives you more options if you need a higher ISO to get the shutter speed that you require with kiddos.

sadieruth's picture
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So glad you posted some pics. As for flash, I went and finally invested in a the cheaper speedlight. I don't remember how much I paid, but I know it wasnt' $500. I think it was between 150-250. I am glad I did b/c I like to make my snaps, look a bit more professional.

With using auto, and just turning the flash off, it slows down your shutterspeed big time, which is the reason they aren't too sharp and also causes yellowish light from what i have seen. My best advice I have is to take it off auto (I know, a huge step!) but just practice. Just keep playing. If you don't have good natural light inside, step outside and shoot still life photos to practice. That helped me out soooo much.

When it comes to your shutterspeed you at least want a 1/150 with kids, and still I try to go above that.

Way to practice! Keep the pics coming!

daniellec.parker's picture
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Thanks everyone! I really want to get outside and practice playing in manual mode. Once we get over the 110 deg heat indexes plus like... I dunno, 50% humidity... that's exactly what I plan on doing. Smile

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I ditto what the others said. Too low of a shutter speed. I'd try upping your ISO. You can always run it through noiseware. I've had to up mine to 1600 (my max) before, and just ran it through noiseware and it made it look so much better.

My speedlite was around $150 I believe. They're not super duper expensive like a new lens would be.

Keep up the practicing! Smile

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Man, Danielle ... your two are just so precious! I don't know how you are not constantly snapping shots of them. Biggrin

You've already gotten some great advice, so I'll just echo a few points and add a bit here and there.

First ... I don't think you need to worry much about manual focus. That's hard to do for even the most experienced photographer. As many have pointed out, the softness to these seem to be from the low light causing the shutter speeds to be so slow. For kids I try to never be below 1/125 even if it means bumping up my ISO. I have a terrible time w/ noise on any ISO over 400, but noiseware helps SO much.

Next, if you are not ready to move to full manual for your exposure - don't sweat it. Try one of the priority modes. As I tend to take a lot of sports pictures, I will sometimes shoot in shutter priority mode (on some cameras it's marked Tv). With shutter priority mode, you can set your desired shutter speed (like 1/125 for wiggly kids) and then the camera will set the rest. If you would rather focus on trying to get that nice blurred background of an open aperture, you can try aperture priority mode (usually marked as Av). This will allow you to set your aperture and the camera will do the rest. I like to try this when I am trying to take photos of flowers and such as I know then that I want a really shallow DOF, but I'm not as worried about motion blur.

As for using your flash. I understand what it's like to just plain not have it in the budget for even a diffuser. But there are lots of DIY diffusers out there. You can go as simple as taping some tissue paper to your flash or get more elaborate (and better results) by trying one of these methods:

http://photography-on-the.net/forum/showthread.php?t=422656
http://www.diyphotography.net/the-party-bouncer-is-back-in-business
http://www.simplyness.com/diy-accessories/diy-pop-up-flash-diffuser-i-using-cup.html
http://lesterjerah.net/photography/diy-pop-up-flash-diffuser/
http://www.diyphotography.net/diy-built-in-pop-up-flash-diffuser

HTH!

GiGi

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The shots are absolutely adorable, I think everyone covered most of what I wanted to say. For PP in #1 I think cloning out the window sill would really improve the shot.