My weekend- Pic Heavy CC welcome

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daniellec.parker's picture
Joined: 09/06/09
Posts: 895
My weekend- Pic Heavy CC welcome

So this past weekend we went on vacation to Gatlinburg, TN. We stopped off at a friend's house on the way and I took pictures of her DD who will be 1 in just a few weeks. Here are some pictures that I took on our trip. The only ones that have been pp are the ones I converted. I need to look up a tutorial on how to smooth out the sheet we used as a backdrop for little Miss Macie's pictures. I took all of these in A priority. I can tell that the focus is off on some of them. I haven't mastered focus yet. It wants to focus on just one point instead of the entire face. (And it's set to Auto area, not single point focus) Should I be shooting with the A closed a little more, or with a different focus setting?

1. 1.8 1/200 ISO1250
DSC_0345

2. 2 1/60(pretty still for so slow..) ISO1250
DSC_0378-b&w

3. 1.8 1/640 1250
DSC_0347b&w

4. 2 1/100 1250
DSC_0371

5. 1.8 1/800 1250
DSC_0273

6. 1.8 1/800 1250
DSC_0296

7. and a conversion-- suggestions for making it better?
DSC_0296b&w

8. 29 1/4 ISO110 (I don't really ever have a chance to take scenery pictures such as this, but I wanted to play around with the SS and running water. For not having a tripod, I think I did okay)
DSC_0606

And this one just for fun--- my DH took this one. We were off of the Gatlinburg Bypass. DS was getting heavy. Smile
DSC_0633

lmh101979's picture
Joined: 07/05/09
Posts: 966

The twins look so over it!
I really like the pics you took and here is why.
1 and 2 have great focus on the eyes. I don't know the answer to any of the questions you asked, but I found myself staring into his eyes and I think that makes them interesting pictures.
I really like the way the light hits her hair in number 4. Something about the picture seems off, the pose maybe? Maybe not have her looking up as much, not sure about that.
I'm not sure what to say about 5,6, and 7. The little girl is cute, lighting looks fine to me (!), and the expressions look super genuine so that makes me like the pics.
I LOVE the one of the water! After messing with my camera the small amount I have I can totally respect getting that shot right! The trees are so crisp in focus and the water is really conveying movement. This would be the centerpiece of my portfolio right now just for getting those technical aspects correct. I can't wait to see what everyone else says about that one, but I think it's really neat! TFS!

daniellec.parker's picture
Joined: 09/06/09
Posts: 895

"lmh101979" wrote:

The twins look so over it!

They had actually just woken up from a nap in the car. Smile

I do think you are right about the angle of #4. I was standing on the opposite side of the "baby jail" so that was the best angle I could get at that time. But I too loved the way the light caught her hair.

And thanks for the other compliments. I'm just now starting to get decent catch-lights in eyes (sometimes). Smile

AmberBella's picture
Joined: 02/15/07
Posts: 1831

In general, you need to pay more attention to your settings than just putting it into aperture priority and forgetting it. You've got an ISO of 1250 in all but one of these photos and a shutter speed that varies from 1/60 - 1/800 which shows you're not really thinking about your settings.

The focus isn't bad. The issue you're having with focus falling on only one part of the face is due to your choice of aperture. 1.8 is a very narrow depth of field and will only allow a few inches within the focal point to be in focus. If you want the entire face in focus you need to close that aperture up quite a bit.

I highly suggest you start practicing with full manual a little so you can understand what the most important thing is and then adjust the other settings accordingly. You can do this with non-moving objects...even a stuffed animal or something...but play with the settings just so you can figure out how it all works.

For example...if it is most important for you to get the whole face in focus...then you'll set the aperture for the ideal setting and then adjust the shutter speed to at least 125 for children and then adjust the ISO as necessary to get the exposure correct.

If you're shooting a moving subject and shutter speed is the most important....select the shutter speed you need first, then aperture, and then ISO.

The priority modes are great....I use them all the time for snaps, but it is really important to understand the available light and how aperture, focal length, shutter speed, and ISO work together before you can use the priority modes effectively and artistically.

Ladybugsteph's picture
Joined: 06/21/06
Posts: 2975

I agree with everything that Amber said. I know how scary it is to jump into Manual. It took me a LONG time to finally make that jump, and I wish I would have done it earlier. It really does make all the difference in the world choosing the settings yourself. My best piece of advice is to watch your light meter. When I first started shooting in manual, I didn't watch it at all, and I couldn't figure out why all my pictures were coming out dark (underexposed). Then it finally clicked that I wasn't watching my meter! Doh!

As far as individual CC:

#1 has nice lighting! Close up your AP, so you can get both eyes in focus. That, or back up so you have a wider DOF.
In #2, the lighting is off. That's why you're seeing a blown bright spot on his face. It would have worked better if you were more on the side where the light is coming through (left side of the frame). You could have got more even lighting on his face, and metered for the brightest part.
Too much shadowing in #3 for my tastes. Also, only one eye in focus again. Close up or step back is my advice.
You nailed the focus in #4. Looks like your AP was closed up some. So there ya go Wink
#5 is underexposed. I would have brought down the SS. Very nice light in her eyes!
Exposure looks better in #6. I think it is still slightly underexposed, so again, I would have lowered the SS some. Again, nice light in the eyes! Too bad there isn't eye contact though. I like the crop of this one.
I can try a conversion a little later and see what I can come up with for #7 (I've been challenging myself with conversions lately). That is if you don't mind. I think it looks a little dull as it is. I think it has potential though.
It's a shame that you couldn't have got a clearer view of the water for #8. I think that the trees are distracting Sad
In #9, I think you had the right idea here. Looks like it was midday? You positioned your back to the sun, so that's good. Unfortunately, the camera underexposed you guys. Backlighting can be difficult, but very beautiful! Just needed to be brighter on you Smile Beautiful scenery! I wish we had something like that as a backdrop around here. All we have are open fields in Central IL. Boo!

TracyF's picture
Joined: 08/14/06
Posts: 2324

Nice shots, and a good start! I agree with the CC, especially about shooting in manual. I didn't really LEARN what was going on with my camera, and how things worked together, until I started shooting in manual. Now it makes the world of difference.

I have been shooting in Aperture priority with this loaner camera I'm using right now, because I'm having a heck of a time getting used to the controls (they are very awkward and I have inflammatory arthritis, so I'm finding them tricky with my unresponsive fingers) and I only have it for a while; but I ALWAYS check my shutter speed when I'm shooting and adjust ISO accordingly, even in Aperture priority. It really will help you learn so much if you shoot in manual, so you are constantly aware of all aspects of the shot.

You got some nice catchlights in some of these! I like #1 except for the one eye being a little soft. But nice catchlights and a cute expression. One suggestion I'd have, especially regarding shots like #3, is to try to get down on the floor with the kids you're shooting.

#5 and #6 are sweet, though it looks like they could use a bit more work to make them pop, and yeah, just a little underexposed.

daniellec.parker's picture
Joined: 09/06/09
Posts: 895

You're absolutely right. I set it and forget about it. I have started to try and keep an eye on the SS and not to let it get below 200 when shooting the kiddos. And I really have very a minimal concept of the settings and how they work together. I know that the wider the A, the shallower the DOF and the more light is let in, allowing for a faster SS. The way it was described to me was comparing light to filling a bucket with water. There is only one perfect amount of water for a bucket to be exactly full, just like one perfect amount of light for the pic to be properly exposed. Two ways to achieve perfect exposure-- Wide open for a shorter amount of time, or close it up some and keep it open longer. But as far as how much of which and how they work together-- no real clue there. I've been told it's best to shoot kids with a SS no less than 160. Should I be trying to keep it in a specific range? (I'm not sure why the ISO was on 1250-- I'm sure it was required for my SS to be at least 200 when I last adjusted it.)

And the shadows in #3 are my fault. When I converted it, I thought it was too light and blah, so I adjusted the contrast.

Thanks for the input ladies. I should make the jump to M.... I should. Maybe I'll play around with it tomorrow.

daniellec.parker's picture
Joined: 09/06/09
Posts: 895

I forgot that I wanted to say that the aspect I was focusing on getting better at with these pictures was the WB. And I don't mind if you play around with the conversion for #6. Please be my guest.