Lurkers Unite - The Group

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Ladybugsteph's picture
Joined: 06/21/06
Posts: 2977
Lurkers Unite - The Group

Okay lurkers! It's your moment! In this group, we're going to get you all to come out of your shells, and get you to start learning your camera. It's pretty easy to read articles and books, but it's another thing to actually get feedback on your practice shots. That's what I'm here to do. Sometimes, you won't know where to go next after you create an under or overexposed photo. I'll help you out with that.

So, in this group we have:
Elizabeth - yellow.rose.of.canada
Marie - DrakePlusOne
Amanda - Muddee
Jill - Jillie Bean
Jess - Omrithekat
Marymoonu
Lynsey - RedCherry

What I'm going to ask for first is a little introduction on who you are, and where you are in your photography journey as well as a few recent photos. I want to know if you've never ever switched the dial over to manual, or if you've been trying manual for quite some time. I need to know if I need to go over the basics of the exposure triangle. We're going to start with the basics. In this group, we're going to be shooting in full manual mode, and not in the priority or auto modes.

I definitely want you to share the shots straight out of the camera (SOOC). If you've edited the photo, please share that one as well. But if I don't see your SOOC, then I won't know how to help you, since you may have changed the exposure in your edit. We won't really be talking about editing early on. We need to get your exposure right, first.

We're going to play this week by ear. We may or may not have to take this week to talk about exposure and have questions and answers. So, lets get started!

yellow.rose.of.canada's picture
Joined: 01/13/10
Posts: 1173

Yay!

Okay here we go... My name is Elizabeth, I'm married with two kids (info in my siggy). I'm originally from Houston, Texas, but now I live in northern British Columbia, Canada. My husband and I pastor a church, and I teach at a local school.

I've been wanting to learn about photography for quite a while, but especially since I've had kids. I really want to have good pictures of them for when they grow up. Smile When I was a kid I would always try to take pictures with my dad's Minolta he got while in Vietnam. He recently gave it to me (along with some awesome lenses), so I'd really like to get all the technical aspects of photography down so I would feel more comfortable using a film camera.

I got my DSLR in December (entry level Rebel XS) and immediately began using manual (due to lurking on this board). I definitely need to work on better exposure, but I feel my biggest problem is focus. I feel like no matter what I do my pictures look soft. I haven't been able to practice much over the last few months because I've been mostly bed ridden. Which is a bummer because we have such a short window of nice weather. I'm hoping I can get around enough to get some nice fall pictures. Smile

Here are pictures from the last month:

My mom and dad came to visit- my mom loved this tree! Lol


This one is way too cool

My son just lost his first tooth


This one looks too yellow

I know that I posted a ton of photos but I wanted to give you a good idea of how bad I am. Smile I didn't know if you wanted settings?

Muddee's picture
Joined: 03/13/08
Posts: 2119

Thanks for letting me join in on this.

I've loved photography since I was a kid, I got my first camera at about 10 years old it was a Polaroid, sorry not sure on the brand, have been taking lots of pictures since, I was one of the early adopters of the digital cameras and got a Minolta P&S the Christmas after DD1 was born, and loved it.

I have been posting here for about 2.5 years on and off, I started off with a Cannon Powershot A2000 IS (P&S) but upgraded to a Canon Rebel T2i in the spring of 2011. I've played with several settings and at home I try to keep it in manual, I will switch over to full auto when going out to fairs, amusement parks or at family gatherings because I find that getting the moment can be a little challenging when in those settings, but I know the setting is limited and am often not happy with the results from auto.

I do have two lens, the one that came with the camera, EFS 18-55mm and a EF 50mm f/1.8.

On the personal side of things, I have been with my DH for almost 16 years, we have two DD's aged 13 and 3. We also have a house full of pets, 2 cats and 2 dogs.

I will have to go through my pictures tonight and post a few.

RedCherry's picture
Joined: 03/19/09
Posts: 656

I first started taking pictures of the kids with my phone so i could email everyone pictures as they grew. I was always receiving comments on how great the pictures were but never really thought about it. My husband was the one who suggest getting a SLR so i could really start to grow. I am a bit of a guilty spender and didn't want to spend that much on something i might not use, seeing how i always have my phone with me ready to snap pictures. It was my 30th birthday present from my whole family and I am so happy with it. I find it easy to pull out and put away if i need to when the kids need me. Much easier than I thought it would be.

My husband was actually the one who did all the research on the Nikon D3200 and told me about all the new features and tricks. Once I got it everyone wanted one it seemed.

I have been practicing with manual and auto, mostly staying on auto in case i miss something. I try not to use the flash that much as i don't really like the "shine" it gives the pictures but without it everything isn't to my liking. That is when i start to play with the AP and shutter. Although to be completely honest, i have no clue what i am doing. I am going to need the basic BASIC training :S

I am so excited to be part of this group, i have told everyone! I can't wait to start seeing progress even though i know it will take time.

As for a little of my background, I have 2 kids, Gemma is 2 (going on 16 i think most days) turning 3 in December and Luke will be 4 months on the 13th. He right now is my squatting duck and kind of has to do whatever i want him to seeing how he can't get up and run away yelling "NOOOO!" like his sister does. I'm sure this will only last so long and he will crawl away pretty fast once he sees the red camera come out of the case! DH and I have been married 4 years on the 12th, but together for 7 in total. He is the best dad and he really does push me to think outside the box and try new things.

When Luke was born i have a friend who is into photography and she has taken some classes. She came over and took "newborn" pictures of Luke which i couldn't wait to see. Sad to say i was pretty disappointed with the turn out and i felt she missed a lot of moments that i would have caught. I might not be good with the settings but I do like to think that i have an eye for what to catch and get a great picture when i do.

Here are a few pictures (within the past two weeks). I dont have any of the settings i used, but i am guessing i can get that information once they're uploaded? Like I said i'm pretty basic and have no clue on a lot of things. Sorry! All the pictures are unedited and I know they all need to be cropped.

ash but didn't like the reflection it gave on my sisters face.

This was at lobsterfest, my family and friends sitting down to dinner. I was trying without the flash and did this one in manual. After about 50 pictures i got something that was somewhat clearer but i find it "dull"

This is with the flash

Gemma was playing hide and seek in the backyard and i got her face looking cute. I find it not quite clear though.

I had to use the flash on this one and i had a window right next to him that was open. I wasn't getting any natural light for the picture.

No flash on this one but it seems too dark to me

Outdoor action shot

Again, this had the flash. you can see the window in the backgrond which was giving some light but not too much

Same thing, i find this dark. Perhaps I was too far?

Im a virgo, a perfectionist. I analyze everything and critic everything. I like the shots but really see a lot of flaws with them.

Jillie Bean's picture
Joined: 07/21/09
Posts: 149

Hi!! Smile Looking so forward to learning more about photography and getting to know all of you better! I'm Jill and have 1 DS, 2.5 years old. DH and I recently relocated to Colorful Colorado (ha ha ha) Smile and are loving life!! For a little about my photography 'background'. I too have loved taking pictures from a very young age. I think I was 12 when I got my first pink vivitar p&s and I took pictures of everything. Drove my family nuts. Smile Fast forward, I got my DSLR (rebel XSi) as a gift from DH the Christmas before DS was born (2010). For most of the my 2 years with it, I have been on automatic (gasp!). I would tinker around with manual and EVERY once in a while I would get something that resembled a good shot. DH also bought me Photoshop and so I thought for sure I could make the pictures look good then...yeah, not so much. I figure out how to make the flower red in a black and white shot, so I wore that one out. Smile About 2 months ago I finally took a little Saturday morning photography class that I found on Groupon from a local Denver photographer. He was great. He did a great job teaching us about exposure, ss, aperture, WB, touched a little on flash and little on focus. After that class my pictures immediately got better. Not great by any means (thus the reason I'm here) but definitely better. I currently only use my kit lens (18-55) but I have a 50 mm/1.4 on the way thanks to amazon in hope that it might help my portraits and I am a little in love with bokeh and cannot come close to getting anything with my kit. Ok, enough blah blah blah. Here are some of my recent stuff. Probably too many, but I couldn't decide what to share...and these are all SOOC. I did edit some but I have to be back online for work in 10 minutes so I will just post these for now!

This is from the inside of a REALLY old Catholic church in Estes Park, CO. I love the feeling I get from this photo. I know it is under exposed and warm...
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Same weekend, Lily Lake, Estes Park, CO. Again, this is a little under exposed?
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Little mini shoot I did with my Cooper in the next 2.
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(cropped version in my siggy that I like better)
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My other baby, Lucy and her nuisance Cooper. Smile
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The next 3 are some practicing I did with my nanny's 6 month old. She has some expressions!! Again, trouble with my exposure a bit...
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Last 2 are a little breakfast time impromtu shoot I did a couple of mornings ago with Coop. He's a ham. Smile
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Like I said, all SOOC, most need cropped and a little or a LOT of editing but here's the start. Excited to learn how to get better!!! Thanks so much for setting all of this up Steph!!! You are awesome. I have to tell you too, that from the first time I saw your pics on our birth board, I've been jealous of your mad skills!! Wink

DrakePlusOne's picture
Joined: 06/29/09
Posts: 1889

Hi ladies. I am so excited to get back into the photography game. Here goes......
I'm Marie (31), SAHM, married to Paul (34) with 2 boys (8,2) and one mystery baby on the way. Due Dec 26th! I've always dabbled in photography, I think mainly b/c my late father was an awesome photographer. I just would love to get to that level someday. I started off learning with his old film Canon (F-1) and it was all trial and error. EXPENSIVE errors at that. I finally broke down and bought a second Canon film camera and learned a great deal more, but still, very expensive to not know what you're doing and waste all that film. About a year ago I got my first DSLR camera, a 50D and I think I've come a really far way!
My biggest issues are trying to remember ALL the tricks to producing a perfect picture and not missing the moment. I worry about lighting and by the time I have my exposure set up, my subject is long gone. Or I've chopped off a hand. Etc, etc. I think my photos of still subjects are getting better by far, but moving subjects are really a challenge. I've done about 3 or 4 paid photo shoots since purchasing my DSLR camera and would LOVE to do something in the vein some day. Oh, I shoot in Manual unless trying to shoot kids in variable lighting situations, then I switch to Av (app priority)

Phew! Ok, on to the pics!. Posting raw photos out of the camera is going to make me bite my nails a little, but here goes.....

Here are some from a really neat old graveyard my friend and I shoot photos in:
1) This first is on the dark side, but it was nearing twilight and lightly misting. I'd probably do some processing on it in Gimp to get it looking better
IMG_3598

2) Another from the same spot. I love the color in this one.
IMG_3572

3) Some shots of my son. Failed attempt at 'good' photos of him. He is a terrible subject to shoot!
IMG_3707

4) Another one
IMG_3716

5) A before and after editing shot. I took yesterday with my ISO pumped to the max! I think 5000 or 6400 or something. It was a really rainy day and the lighting (as you can see) was just horrible. It kept giving me a red cast even with a custom white balance.
IMG_3756

I edited in Gimp and then B&W it b/c I thought it looked best this way.
IMG_3756b

Ok! There you have it! I can't wait to read through everyone's posts and get to know everyone better. Smile

Ladybugsteph's picture
Joined: 06/21/06
Posts: 2977

I'm first going to go over the basics of exposure real quickly for those of you who might be a little confused.

ISO - Brightens or darkens up the entire picture. The higher the number the brighter you go. The lower the number, the darker you go. In a well lit area (outdoors) you will probably keep your ISO low. When indoors, you will, most likely, high a high ISO.

Shutter Speed (SS) - This is how long your camera is actually taking the picture. The higher the bottom number, the more motion is frozen, because your camera takes the photo quickly. The lower the bottom number, the more motion blur you will see, because your camera is taking the photo more slowly. Not only that, but the lower the number, the more light you let in. With a higher number, you won't let in as much light.

F-Stop/Aperature (AP) - The lower the number the more blur (bokeh) in the background (This is called "open"). The higher the number, the more you will have in focus (this is called "closed"). But, again, that's not the only thing that it effects. The lower the number the more light you let in. With a higher number, you will get less light in.

When you are posting your pictures for CC, please include those settings. If you're using Flickr, you can find them by clicking on the "Actions" tab, then on "Exif info". With this info, I will be able to tell you what you could have changed to get the exposure better, and what you you need to think about next time you practice.

Light Meter - This looks different depending on if you're using a Nikon or Canon, but the basic concept is the same. Here's what it looks like:
-3...-2...-1...0...+1...+2...+3
..............'

(Please ignore the periods before the '. I'm not able to put the ' where it is suppose to be without them. Refer to the image below to see the actual light meter)

The little ' under the 0 tells you if your photo is properly exposed, underexposed, or overexposed.

-3...-2...-1...0...+1...+2...+3 = Underexposed
........'

-3...-2...-1...0...+1...+2...+3 = Overexposed
.................................'

-3...-2...-1...0...+1...+2...+3 = Properly Exposed for all intents and purposes
...................'
Not paying attention to my light meter was my biggest hinderance of my growth. I didn't pay attention to what it was telling me at all. In fact, I didn't even know what it was for the longest time. So, learn from my mistake. Pay attention to what your light meter is telling you!

So, if you're photo is underexposed, you need to change your settings. If it's reading extremely underexposed, first raise your ISO. If it's only slightly underexposed, lower your SS or AP. To determine which one to lower the number of, think of your subject. If you're photographing a child, you want to keep your SS high (at least 1/200). If you can't bring that number down, try to lower your AP. If your AP is already as low as your lens will allow, then you'll have to raise your ISO. If you're not photographing a child, then you will probably be ok to lower your SS. If you go under 1/60, you probably won't be able to hold it with your hands without getting a blurry photo due to the shake of the camera in your hands. You'll have to use a tripod or a steady surface and a remote or self timer.

If your scene/subject is reading extremely over exposed, try lowering your ISO first. If it's slightly over exposed, start by raising your SS.

Keep in mind that all of your settings work together, and when you change one, it effects the others. Sometimes you might end up needing to change more than one setting to properly expose your photo.

Here is a fantastic visual.

I want to give you a simple little assignment. Get yourself a stuffed animal or toy (or something that will sit there completely still), and go outside in the shade. Set your camera to ISO 100. Adjust your SS and AP so that your light meter reads at the "0". Take the picture. Raise your ISO to 200. Notice how you have to change your other settings to accommodate the ISO change. Adjust your SS and AP so that your light meter is reading "0" and snap the picture. Do this until you reach ISO 800. Report back here, and ask any questions that you might have.

Omrithekat's picture
Joined: 08/01/07
Posts: 62

My name is Jess and I got my first DSLR right before the birth of my son, Corbin, in 2007. That was a Rebel XTi. I used it exclusively on auto for a little over a year, and then I accidentally dropped it out of the car and onto a concrete parking lot. Insurance covered the costs of replacing it, and I bought a Rebel XSi. I used that camera on auto mode until the birth of my twin sons, Cameron and Jameson. Then sometime in late 2010, I decided that I was going to learn how to use my camera. I have been shooting in RAW and in manual mode since about that time, but haven't really put a lot of effort into learning techniques until the past two or three months.

I'm so excited to report that I just bought a Canon 5D Mark ii and it came in the mail yesterday. I had my first photo shoot with it last night with my in laws and I just love it.

I have a lot of issues with camera shake because I am naturally very shaky (take a lot of asthma/allergy meds). But I've learned a stance that works fairly well with reducing that, and I've been trying my best to shoot at 1/250 or higher. I just got a lens with IS, too, so hopefully, that will also help.

I also have major issues with skin tones. I do most of my editing in Lightroom for now (but I am getting photoshop at the end of October), so I know the trick for that, but I get very frustrated in trying to actually achieve it.

I already saved off all of my unedited photos to our home server and I am too lazy to retrieve them, so here are edited photos. For some reason, I missed that part of the assignment; however, I am certain that I will be shooting photos with the new camera today and tomorrow, so I will be sure to put the SOOC images from that on here.

I plan to have a part time photography business before I return to the workforce in 3 years. Then I will keep that job on the side as well. I don't think it will ever be a full time, family supporting business for me, but I guess we will see where it goes.

I decided to take this somewhere because I have a huge passion for photography. I haven't yet accepted a dime for any photoshoots, but I have booked some later this month for $50/session. Let me tell you, I am going to be super nervous the first time any money changes hands. Eek!!

I haven't used this site in a loooong time, so I know I need avatar and siggy pics that are recent. I will try to do that today, too!

Also, I used Photobucket to drop the photos here, but if Flickr is better, let me know and I will set up an account there.

ETA: Oh crap, these files are HUGE and they got cropped from the site. The kids aren't going to allow me time to resize them right now, so forgive me for the time being. I'll get the hang of it!

Ladybugsteph's picture
Joined: 06/21/06
Posts: 2977

It's so nice to get to know all of you a little better! I'm so happy that you all came out to play! I think we're just waiting on Marymoonu at this point. Take the rest of the week for the little assignment. I know that it may be a little mundane for some of you who have been shooting manual for a while, but it's a good refresher for you, and it will give the others a chance to catch up a bit. I'd love to see your results when you're finished! Feel free to post the photos you took.

Jess, it's up to you which service you want to use. You're pictures look just fine to me right now. Sometimes, when you resize in Photobucket, it may look okay to us, but not to you. I think that logging out and then logging back in will fix it on your end.

Ladybugsteph's picture
Joined: 06/21/06
Posts: 2977

I'd like to respond to each of you individually. I will get this started, though children might distract me in the middle of it!

Elizabeth - Dawson's Creek, huh? You must love the show Wink I can definitely give you some pointers on focusing. I know it's something that a lot of photographers struggle with, including myself. There's always so much to think about while taking photos!

Ladybugsteph's picture
Joined: 06/21/06
Posts: 2977

Amanda - You know, honestly, I will have to switch over to auto at times as well. Flash and all! Sometimes it's just necessary due to the limitations of my camera and lenses. It's important to remember that not everything is going to be a portrait. It's something that I have struggled with (and sometimes STILL struggle with), and I had/have to remind myself to just live in the moment sometimes. It's so hard to get all the settings right in a situation where you need to snap fast.

Ladybugsteph's picture
Joined: 06/21/06
Posts: 2977

Lynsey - I know all to well about the struggles with trying not to use a flash! Oh, that was the one thing I wanted to learn to do, but my equipment just wouldn't allow me to do it! I would get SO frustrated! I actually wound up getting a speedlite so that I could at least be able to bounce the flash off of a wall. After that, I was much more pleased with my snaps indoors. But, again, try to remember that sometimes snaps are just snaps, and not everything has to be worthy of putting up large on the wall.

I think that the thing that you will need to learn is how to use the light. If a few of your photos, you mention having a window with light coming through, but it's in the wrong spot for you to use it to your advantage. I'll definitely help you with that!

The size that you posted is a bit small for critique. Not a problem for us right now, but with Flickr, I'd post the 640 size. It'll make it easier for me to see everything Smile

Ladybugsteph's picture
Joined: 06/21/06
Posts: 2977

Jill - Geeze! When did Cooper get so big?? That's great that you got to take a class! Sometimes it's so much easier to hear things instead of just reading them. I think that everyone goes through the phase of selective coloring haha! I think you learned, first hand, that Photoshop (or any other editing program) can only enhance what you've already produced. It all starts with taking a good photo in your camera to begin with. That's why we'll start with primarily posting SOOC's. If it isn't right SOOC, you're just going to spend a lot of unnecessary time in Photoshop trying to "fix" what wasn't there to begin with.

Ladybugsteph's picture
Joined: 06/21/06
Posts: 2977

Marie - Isn't the digital age great?? I don't think I would have been able to afford to take up photography as a hobby if I had to shoot film. I can barley afford it now, let alone having to develop bad pictures to learn. Maybe I would have been a faster learner though?? Wink

You're definitely right to think about your lighting. Having said that, it's helpful to first be able to get your settings quickly before adding that into the equation. For now, I'd just get your subject in the shade and snap, if you're photographing your kids. Sure, the lighting might be flat and not very dimensional, but you need to get comfortable changing your settings first. Think more about lighting when you're photographing an adult who will be patient with you enough for you to get the correct settings.

Ladybugsteph's picture
Joined: 06/21/06
Posts: 2977

Jess - As you know, I am SO jealous of your MkII (and the fab lenses you just got)!! We've talked before about focus. I'm glad that you're finding a stance that works well for you. I found this great image on Pinterest on the proper way to hold your camera. I'm not sure if you're currently holding it this way, but I figured I'd share anyway.

Here's the article that goes along with it: The correct way to hold a DSLR camera (Great tips!)

Maybe there's something in there that can help some more with your stance? Not to mention, the focusing system in the MkII should be better than your XSi.

Ladybugsteph's picture
Joined: 06/21/06
Posts: 2977

So, as far as an introduction of myself, I'll just link you over to my anniversary thread. It has my entire story in there, and how far I've come. I was a really slow learner. I still have a lot to learn, but I'm finally comfortable with my camera and shooting in manual. I think that there's always improvements, and most of us will never be completely happy with our work. And I think that's a good thing! It means that we're willing to learn even more to take ourselves to the next level.

http://www.pregnancy.org/bulletinboards/photography-239/4-year-dslr-anniversary-697779/

You're going to be receiving CC from me. I'm not usually one to give harsh CC, and I will never mean to hurt anyone's feelings. And just because I tell you that something is wrong in the technical aspect, it doesn't mean that I think it's a bad photo. Sometimes it's hard to hear that a photo that we think is amazing isn't technically correct, and doesn't mean that you can't print it out and enjoy it.

One thing I want to ask of you is to not only receive CC, but also give CC on the other images. Believe it or not, this is a very important step in learning. By looking critically at other's photos, it opens you up to look at your own images critically. You can learn from the other's "mistakes". Here is a thread I typed up a while back that gives some good info on how to give and receive CC.

http://www.pregnancy.org/bulletinboards/photography-239/how-give-receive-cc-690227/

Omrithekat's picture
Joined: 08/01/07
Posts: 62

Yep! That's how I have been holding it for the past couple of months, since I started reading up on how to get rid of camera shake.

Jillie Bean's picture
Joined: 07/21/09
Posts: 149

"Ladybugsteph" wrote:

Jill - Geeze! When did Cooper get so big??

I know!! Our little guys aren't babies anymore and it makes me a little sad (for some of the baby stuff Smile )

Muddee's picture
Joined: 03/13/08
Posts: 2119

Alright sorry the photos are late, here are some I took last week all SOOC.

We went to The Exhibition in Toronto these first three are from then.

I blurred every time on this without the flash, put the flash on and now I have an evil looking Llama.

Apollo lay down for a moment outside, took this snap of him.

Natalie loves to climb the rock in our back yard and always asks me to take pictures of her on it.

Omrithekat's picture
Joined: 08/01/07
Posts: 62

Pretty sure I got some cute SOOC shots of the twins in full sun at the park today. I went to upload them on to my computer and my RAM is completely fried! It's still under warranty, so I need to take it in for repairs tonight. Ugh! Terrible timing, though. I need to do a ton of work on my computer Sad

Ladybugsteph's picture
Joined: 06/21/06
Posts: 2977

Oh, how frustrating! I hope it gets fixed quickly for you. I know that I hate being without a computer.

DrakePlusOne's picture
Joined: 06/29/09
Posts: 1889

Ok, I finally finished our weekly project. I think all my pics turned about the same. I tried to notice if the background objects were affected (focus wise), but I don't think they were too much. I'll edit this later tonight and add my pics. Smile
IMG_3812IMG_3813IMG_3815IMG_3816IMG_3818IMG_3819

I probably shouldn't have shot these pics where I did b/c of the sunrise, but it was all I could get at the time. It's been one crazy week for me!

RedCherry's picture
Joined: 03/19/09
Posts: 656

I finally got the assignment done today at my inlaws. I'm SO sorry for being late. I have to upload them tomorrow if I can't tonight, I forgot to bring my computer with me.

Omrithekat's picture
Joined: 08/01/07
Posts: 62

I took the pics, but I am having major computer trouble right now.

Ladybugsteph's picture
Joined: 06/21/06
Posts: 2977

Marie - Thanks for posting! It's amazing how just one little change makes you have to change everything else, doesn't it? I wouldn't worry too much about the way the background looks at this point. I think that with a setup like this, you're not really going to notice as much. For this assignment, I just wanted you to see the way all of your settings interacted with each other. Thanks for being the first to post!

Jess and Lynsey - No worries! It's okay if you can't post the images. It's not the end of the world Smile Just an exercise to get some of you who aren't very familiar with Manual to see how this all works together.

Ladybugsteph's picture
Joined: 06/21/06
Posts: 2977

Now that you've done the little assignment, I want to ask how you're all feeling about shooting in manual. Any troubles understanding your light meter? Do you have any general questions?

At this point, I want to ask you guys how you want the group to be structured. Do you want me to give assignments, or do you just want to go ahead and start posting for CC? I don't want to scare anyone off if you're not comfortable with assignments. I know I wasn't for longest time, but I know that everyone is different.

Omrithekat's picture
Joined: 08/01/07
Posts: 62

Very comfortable with manual here. I'd really like CC, but it is going to be quite difficult with my uploading troubles and messed up color calibration on the old pc I'm using. I have no idea how long my situation will last- I have an appointment for a second opinion tomorrow. Fingers crossed. I hope I don't have to wait until Oct 24, when I can get my new computer.

Jillie Bean's picture
Joined: 07/21/09
Posts: 149

Sorry I'm just getting to this.... For assignment 1 I forgot for a while that I can change my aperture too, i just kept changing ss hahaha. My shutter speed wouldn't go any further and my light meter was still off when i figured it out. So I guess it was a good lesson for me. :). I am on vacation (yay!) so I can post them when we are back if you want but they are pretty boring.

As for Stephs questions. I feel fairly comfortable with manual. I haven't gone back to the comforts of automatic for almost 2 months now. Wink I would prefer assignments for a while but I'm cool with either format!

Omrithekat's picture
Joined: 08/01/07
Posts: 62

Okay, I think that I found a combo that is going to work now, so I should be able to participate. I'm using DH's work laptop. He's a bit hesitant letting me use it, and I can only use it at night (oh, and the colors are WAY off). Anyway, it should work.

Ladybugsteph's picture
Joined: 06/21/06
Posts: 2977

Don't worry about colors too much for this, Jess. Especially since I'm not calibrated Wink Glad that he is agreeing to let you use the computer for now!

RedCherry's picture
Joined: 03/19/09
Posts: 656

I have to say, I am finding manual WAY easier than auto. I'm a lot less frustrated with the turn out and i feel like i have more "control" over the camera. I actually did the assignment twice as I found i didn't do one of the settings correctly the first time and i am learning a lot about my camera this way too. I am loving taking pictures!

I am probably the least experienced in this group and i wouldn't mind doing the assignments. It gets me to do things i would never think of doing or taking pictures i wouldn't know how to do.

Also, I am not sure what to do about editing. when i upload the pictures to flickr (which takes forever!) they are all 10MB, should i be adjusting the size before uploading? should i be cropping them? i feel like that is what is slowing me down waiting for them to be uploaded.

Here are my shots from the assignment (excuse the chewed up plant behind Pascal);


ISO - 100
SS - 1/125
AP - f/6.3


ISO - 200
SS - 1/200
AP - f/7.1


ISO - 400
SS - 1/400
AP - f/7.1


ISO - 800
SS - 1/800
AP - f/7.1

Ladybugsteph's picture
Joined: 06/21/06
Posts: 2977

I'm so glad that you were more pleased with the outcome with shooting in manual, Lynsey! The priority modes do have their place, but it's best to understand manual and your camera first, so you know what adjustments to make when shooting in priority. BTW, my 2 year old loved your test subject Wink

Okay, we'll do assignments then. I'll see what I can come up with for your first assignment, and I'll get it typed up!

Ladybugsteph's picture
Joined: 06/21/06
Posts: 2977
Assignment #1 - Aperture and Depth of Field

As you noticed in the little manual exercise from last week, there are many different combinations of settings that you can have that will create a properly exposed image. What you need to do now is decide which setting will be the most important to you in the image that you want to create.

So for your first assignment, I want to take a look at your Aperture and Depth of Field. The main role of your AP is your depth of field (DOF). A high number means you will have more in focus. A low number means that less will be in focus. Portrait and Macro photographers will typically use an open AP (lower number) to make their subject stand out from the background. Landscape photographers will typically use a closed AP (higher number) to have the entire landscape/scene in focus.

Assignment:
1. I want you to take your subject (living or still life...it's your choice) into an area that is shady. Place your subject with something obvious off to the side in the background about 6 feet behind them (a tree, swingset, etc.. no need to actually place a prop unless necessary).

2. Set your AP to f/2.8 (if your lens doesn't open this wide, then skip this step and the next - if needed), adjust the other settings accordingly, and take the picture.

3. Keeping you and your subject in the same spot and using the exact same focal length (don't zoom in or out - VERY important!), close up your AP to f/4, adjust the other settings, and take the picture.

4. Continue the steps with an AP of f/5.6, f/8, f/11, f/16, and f/22, remembering to change your ISO and SS according to the reading on the light meter.

5. Share your results!

Muddee's picture
Joined: 03/13/08
Posts: 2119

Here is last weeks assignment, just got it uploaded.


ISO100
SS 1/25
AP f/5.6


ISO 200
SS 1/50
AP f/5.6


ISO 400
SS 1/100
AP f/5.6


ISO 800
SS 1/200
AP f/5.6


ISO 1600
SS 1/400
AP f/5.6

Ladybugsteph's picture
Joined: 06/21/06
Posts: 2977

Thanks for posting, Amanda! We you using a tripod?? That's some great clarity for a SS of 1/25!

OH! And Lynsey, I forgot to comment on the file size and uploading problem you're having! I typically resize my photos before uploading. I will resize to 960 at the widest. That will usually keep my files at around 1MB with my XTi.

Muddee's picture
Joined: 03/13/08
Posts: 2119

I wasn't using a tripod, I read somewhere if you took a deep breath in and then shot on the breath out it would help stabilize your hands, it seems to work for me so I do it. Planning to use the tripod next time though, I just always forget about it.

DrakePlusOne's picture
Joined: 06/29/09
Posts: 1889

Ok, this week's project done.
Stephanie, I really loved doing this one. Smile I don't know why I never adjusted my ISO more regularly to get the right effect I wanted. For some reason, I was under the impression that ISO greater than 200 = BAD! Heh, heh. In all truthfulness, a higher ISO doesn't mean the pic is totally trashed. Live and learn. On my last few shots the ISO was pumped to the max, so those would def need run through noiseware in a perfect world. Everything is SOTC.
IMG_3857IMG_3859IMG_3860IMG_3861IMG_3862IMG_3863IMG_3864IMG_3865

I also couldn't get all the f stops I would have liked b/c it was getting a little dark outside. I might try again on my own this weekend if I get a little extra time. Smile

Ladybugsteph's picture
Joined: 06/21/06
Posts: 2977

Great job, Marie! It's amazing the difference between the first and the last photo, isn't it? Way to go on reading your light meter and adjusting your ISO and SS accordingly! Exposure looks great.

Now, re: ISO. It's unfortunate that so many people talk about higher ISO's being bad, because, as long as you have proper exposure, you're not going to notice it too awful much. Typically, higher ISO = more grain being introduced to the image. Canon Rebel's are notorious for lots of grain an ISO over 400. BUT, I have taken plenty of photos with a high ISO and not noticed much grain. If I do get a lot of grain (usually due to improper exposure), Noiseware Community Edition has helped a ton. I know you mentioned noisware already, but just bringing it up for the others who may not know about it yet.

Ladybugsteph's picture
Joined: 06/21/06
Posts: 2977

Were you all able to complete the assignment? Do you need some more time before we get started with another assignment?

Ladybugsteph's picture
Joined: 06/21/06
Posts: 2977

Okay, I think we need to go ahead and get started with a new assignment. Since we've only seen one person's results, what I'm going to do is create a separate thread for that assignment. I'll create new threads for every assignment that we do, as well. I think that can keep things a little more organized, since I know we're all busy ladies, and we might not be able to post as soon as we'd like.

Muddee's picture
Joined: 03/13/08
Posts: 2119

I tried the assignment but my subject kept moving, silly dog, LOL. Anyway I do understand the concept I was explaining it to my Dad a while ago.