Practice shots...CC please :-)
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Thread: Practice shots...CC please :-)

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    Posting Addict ChristianMommy's Avatar
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    Default Practice shots...CC please :-)

    Hello! I have been studying up, and taking picture after picture. I LOVE black and white photography, and really need practice getting enough contrast in my pics...Any suggestions? I'd like to do a large collage of shots on my living room wall in black and white. Here are 2 I have taken. I did the edits within my camera.....Nikon D3000 has an editing menu built in. I didn't take the pics in b and w originally...instead I changed them to b and w and I added some softening to Caydee (the first one of my baby)...I also over cropped Caydee I think...but her legs were out of focus and it looked awkward. The last 2 are just for fun...still having lighting issues but the window is to the left of her. I listed the settings. By the way, does a strobe help create lighting in the eyes? Hopefully my pics will improve with lots of time. Please let me know if my settings are off and if I need to do something else Thanks so much ya'll!!

    40mm, ISO 400, 1/60, f5


    (can't remember settings)
    Ok, I'm kind of whop sided when taking this pic..Maybe I need to drink a V8 lol


    55mm, ISO 800, 1/60, f5.6


    55mm, ISO 400, 1/200, f5.6
    Kevin and Alicia- Parents to Brianna, Madison (our Angel), Brandon, Christian, Noah, and Caydee Faith!

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    Posting Addict AmberBella's Avatar
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    Natural light, natural light, natural light....these are all flash. If you need flash and really want to improve your pictures...your next purchase should be a speedlight. You are never going to get great quality with the pop up flash.

    I'm not loving your black and white conversions..they are very flat and I don't like the softening effect on the first image. It looks a bit cheesy and doesn't really add anything to the feel of the image....it just makes it look totally out of focus.

    When including settings....remember please to include whether the flash was used or not. It's HUGELY important.
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    Posting Addict ChristianMommy's Avatar
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    I'm pretty sure all are flash...I just can't get enough lighting otherwise and there has yet to be a good day for outside pics. Not sure how to get better conversion on the b and w and to be honest, I hated the softening as well. It just looked blurry. I am seriously having lighting issues no matter what I read. Are you never suppose to use your flash?
    Kevin and Alicia- Parents to Brianna, Madison (our Angel), Brandon, Christian, Noah, and Caydee Faith!

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    Posting Addict AmberBella's Avatar
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    The pop-up flash is for snapshots...not for portraiture. I haven't seen many successful portraits with pop-up flash except when used for fill flash. That's what the speedlight or off camera flash or strobe is for....to create usable, flattering light. This is also why the better DSLR cameras don't even come with a pop up flash.
    Last edited by AmberBella; 02-24-2010 at 08:09 PM.
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  5. #5
    stampasaurus
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    Do you have a lens that will open up a little more? That would be my first purchase if not. I don't know what camera you have but the Canon 50mm 1.8 is about $100 and fantastic for the price. Like Amber said I would lose the flash. And don't worry so much about editing until you have the basic exposure components down.

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    Alicia - with regards to the flash....pretty much no. Don't ever use your onboard unless you have a diffuser. A speedlight that can rotate directions is much better because the light will bounce off of a surface and then back to your subject creating much softer lighting.

    Which lens are you shooting with? I struggled just like you when I only had my kit lens. The 50 1.8 was an eye opener!! Although it takes tons of practice to shoot sharply wide open (1., it allows you to let tons more light in....hence, easier to take some shots. I'm sure you'll struggle with noise if you raise your ISO too much, but try something like this...

    Put Caydee at a 45 degree angle from some window lighting. Set your shutter speed to 125, open your aperture as much as you can but try not to go below 2.8 (if it goes that low), then adjust your ISO as needed to 0 out your light meter. Shoot away...and slowly because nailing focus is tricky at first.

    Post those with no flash and lets see what you get good luck!

    Oh, and if you have your kit lens that zooms...make sure it's as wide as it will go (say 35 mm for instance) That's how you're going to get your aperture to open the most
    Last edited by shutterbug0303; 02-24-2010 at 08:25 PM.
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    Posting Addict ChristianMommy's Avatar
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    Thanks so much Judi!! I actually decided to take my Nikon back and get the Canon Rebel. Not because I blame the camera, I totally know it's my lack of experience and fault. I just find the Canon lenses cheaper (not sure if they'd go on my Nikon) and because my aunt has the Canon Rebel and she is going to tutor me on using it.

    No with regards to what you said, I am printing this as I am typing. I will have the Canon tomorrow and I am going to do just as you've said. I'm not sure what lens comes with it, but I am sure it's 18-55mmm like the Nikon did. Steph, I just asked my husband for to get me the 50mm 1.8 lens. He said he would get on it lol Thanks for that! Amber, thanks for the lighting rules....I will not touch that pop up flash anymore! I hate the orange pin lights it causes anyways..looks so cheesy and blah! Ok, I will post a pic according to Judi's suggestion as soon as possible! Thanks for everything!
    Kevin and Alicia- Parents to Brianna, Madison (our Angel), Brandon, Christian, Noah, and Caydee Faith!

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    Posting Addict Amy_&_Eva's Avatar
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    I do have to say that just because you have the 18-55 lens (which is currently my only lens for my T1i), doesn't mean you can't get good non-flash shots. Before I owned my Canon DSLR I used a Fuji S5100 which is not SLR but has tons of features that are just like SLR...so I'd been working with manual settings for a couple years before I got my Canon. If you can get a feel for (learn how to use) the manual settings then you can get super shots even with the kit lens.

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    Posting Addict cazzoom's Avatar
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    When I first started with my dslr I thought I would pick things up quickly and shoot like the pro's do...... boy was I wrong!!!!!

    It's something that you have to work at and practice, make mistakes, getting discouraged, learning and growing are all part of it. I never thought I would have progressed as much as I have.

    Definitely start small, with the basics. My biggest hurdle was exposure and focus. but over time, things get better, easier to understand what you are doing wrong and most importantly haw to fix it and improve.

    I know you want to take pics of your kids but try to practice on more inanimate objects and flowers... they dont move as fast as kids

    Take your time.... it wont happen overnight.... but it will happen!

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  10. #10
    Jaxie
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    You have gotten some great advice so far. I know, it's a lot to take in all at once. Hang in there!

    I wanted to also add that one of the first things I learned here was when taking pictures of children/babies to not have your SS any lower than 1/125, 1/100 at the lowest. Also, it's best if you are standing in front of the window (window behind you) and subject is facing the window. That will give you the best natural light photos and get those catchlights in their eyes.

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