You've gotten some great replies. I don't have much to add other than PRACTICE. It takes a lot of playing around for it to really "click".
My camera is pretty old, a Nikon D70. it's still in good condition though
i was fiddling around outside and took some more. do these look any better? I realize they arn't the greatest shots and that there is some light missing from his eyes. Just looking at the exposure
The lighting in this one is kinda weird. It's a sunny day, but there is a wall to the right and the sun is behind that. His face looks a little dark to me?
F4.5, 1/350, ISO was around 1000
F4.5, 1/750, ISO around 1000
F4.5, 1/1000 ISO around 1000
I feel like the focus is off on all these. What kind of method are you using to focus? Are you manually focusing, auto focusing, or toggling focus points?
I can't fully judge the colour/brightness since I am not calibrated. But I know when you have different light levels on the face it can be difficult to get it perfect, I think you could have probably gone a tiny bit brighter.
I do agree the focus does seem a bit off on these.
* Amanda *
Good for you and getting out there and practicing! I think you did a great job at getting your shutter speed up. Unfortunately, it looks like focus missed the face in all of these.
#1 - Focus looks like it grabbed on to the color of his shirt. This one is underexposed. You didn't have much room to lower your shutter speed, and I'm thinking that 4.5 was the most open you could go, so I would have raised your ISO.
#2 - I'm thinking that focus grabbed the shirt again, but this one looks better since you're a little further away. Just not totally crisp. Exposure is better here. Looks like you were in a spot where more light was able to get on his face. That probably helped a lot with your exposure.
#3 - Focus grabbed the railing, I believe. This is a tough lighting situation here. You have some spots where the sun is hitting, and then other spots are shaded. What you'll get is some blown spots when you are metering for your subject who is shaded. Sometimes blown spots are acceptable, like when you're backlighting, and you get some blown hair that isn't distracting. Unfortunately, a blown spot like this, draws the eye away from the subject. So I'd look around for a more evenly lit spot
Read up on all the different focus methods. For me, I found that using only the middle focal point, locking focus, and recomposing has worked well so far. It's still auto focus, but allows for a little more accuracy. I'm sure that toggling would work better, but my kiddos are too darn fast!