July 17, 2014 at 11:21 am #20477
I’ve been taking photos since my oldest was born 3 1/2 years ago. I was taking photos like mad up until about 6 months ago, and am starting to take lots of photos again. (I stopped for a little bit because I had some musculoskeletal complications while I was pregnant with my third daughter that are just now starting to resolve three months postpartum so I was fairly confined to my couch and I’ve spent the last couple months saving my house from the neglect it consequently experienced. Anyways…)
I would love it if I could get some ideas of where I’m weakest at so that I can work on those things. I do know that some of my older photos on my flickr have some chopped limbs. I also don’t have any color calibration hardware but it’s on my birthday list for this year. I really only have amateur equipment but don’t really feel like it’s holding me back at all at this point. It gets the job that I need it to done and, well, I’m still driving around an 18 year old subcompact with three kids in carseats in the back seat so new equipment (including color calibration hardware) is on the back burner until I have a minivan.
ETA: the flickr link helps! https://www.flickr.com/photos/64132459@N05/July 17, 2014 at 12:18 pm #20482EyeDocPhotogParticipant
Almost every photo drew me in to the subject and color and lighting look great to me. You nailed some great bokeh as well.
I can’t speak critically about your weakest point – I’ll leave that to others on this board. I think your photos are great. 🙂July 17, 2014 at 4:23 pm #20483
I think you should stop down a little from f/1.8 and step back slightly. In photos like this one
you have extremely shallow DOF and focus is off just enough to affect the photo. The iris is not sharp. Open the original and look at an eye at 100%, run a sharpening tool over the eye, the lashes are very sharp, but the eyes are not.
The shadow around the chin is affected too. It looks like the head is in bath water and it is up to the chin!
The closer you are to your subject, the less DOF you will have, and the larger your aperture, the less DOF you will have. Too close and you will tend to get distortion because things closer to the lens will appear larger. It makes the nose prominent.
The eagle photo, DSC_0755, has the same problem. You were further away, but at 200 mm, you still have a shallow DOF which makes the foreground feathers out of focus which detracts from the photo. In this case, ISO 800 and f/8 might have given a better photo.July 17, 2014 at 10:06 pm #20485
Thank you eyedoc and cameraclicker
Cameraclicker- I have actually started to step down aperture for most of the kids’s portraits to somewhere between 2.2 to 2.8 for most of their stuff. Pretty much for the same reasons you state. The photo of my middle kid, I see what you are talking about with it looking like bath water up to her chin. I laid my 3 month old in the same spot, only shot with a 35mm so it’s not so in her face, and with my speedlite bounced off both the wall behind me and also the wall closest to the top of her head. No matter what, that shadow was there to stay. It was just flat out bad lighting on my part when I should have looked for different spots to stick her on the bed in relation to the light. For sure I definitely need to watch my light more. I think it’s time I did the egg challenge instead of just watching the video.
Next time we go to the zoo I will definitely get the falcon with narrower aperture and wider DOF again. He isn’t going anywhere anytime soon 🙂
I also took some indoor and outdoor stuff today and will try and post some of that to my flickr when I get my computer back from the kids later. Thanks again!July 18, 2014 at 1:08 am #20496
I must’ve already noticed the eye thing with the close up of my middle kid because when I found it in lightroom it had already been sharpened up a bunch. Is this better?
I also took the new pics and the DOF on some were still pretty narrow. Definitely finding a DOF calculator and writing it on a card to take around in the camera bag 🙂July 18, 2014 at 6:46 am #20501
Sharpening doesn’t really fix focus. It adjusts edge contrast.
There is a calculator here: http://www.dofmaster.com/dofjs.html and here: http://www.cambridgeincolour.com/tutorials/dof-calculator.htm
For Canon shooters, there is a Canon version here: http://cpn.canon-europe.com/content/education/technical/depth_of_field_calculator.do I haven’t tried it yet.
Android app: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=jds.dofcalc&hl=en A complaint is that there is no APS-C option, just full frame. I think a crop sensor does not change focal length, and can demonstrate using full frame or crop body with the same lens does not change DOF enough to matter. I use the same full frame camera with the dofmaster calculator for all calculations, regardless of the actual body I’m using. Really, understanding the general concepts is more important than dragging out a calculator for every shot.July 18, 2014 at 11:01 am #20502
That makes a lot of sense CC! Thank you for the links. I really meant more writing a chart out for myself to carry around for a little bit while I get a feel for a more appropriate aperture for what I’m taking photos of. I’m one of the last people to not have a smartphone lol, so I’d have to program my graphing calculator and drag that around with me if I calculated it each time myself 🙂 If I write it out though I’ll probably get it.July 18, 2014 at 2:13 pm #20503
LOL! I have a Samsung Galaxy sII. I use it to make calls. I use the PDA feature, and store photos so I have a pocket sized portfolio that’s always with me. Showing people a collection of photos taken with dSLR’s and Canon’s best lenses, really confuses people when they first start looking at the photos.
You could use the DOF calculator on your computer to make a little chart, or a graph. I made up some graphs a while ago. They are buried in one of my Flickr accounts. You could start here:
But, if you play with the calculator a little, you will get an understanding that will help you.August 24, 2014 at 12:36 pm #21686DonParticipant
They’re not bad at all. The main criticisms have been pointed out. If they’re just for your use or for sharing with other people, you’re doing fine. Please don’t try to go “pro”.August 25, 2014 at 12:32 am #21709
Curious Don what you would want to see different if I did go pro (not that I am right now but has been something that I’ve considered doing in the future when life settles down a little bit more). Is it mainly the DOF thing that CC has pointed out, an equipment thing, what do you think needs to change the most. Thanks in advance for the clarification!
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