Home Forums Am I a Fauxtog? Took some advice. Here's an update!

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    So in my last post I was given a lot of harsh advice! But I took it! And I just had a photo session Saturday. Let me know what you think about these photographs versus my previous ones. I tried to get rid of that instagram look. I am also in the process of fixing up my website layout.


    Please be nice. I am trying to get better. I’m only 20 and I don’t do this full time, not yet at least. Also I am not using the best lens. I don’t have the money. I am currently using a Canon 7D with a 50mm f/1.8 lens. Soon I want to upgrade to f/1.4. Also I am praying that it is just me and not my camera but I have read a few articles on having a lemon camera. I did a test I found online to check the focus and it is still a little blurred. Can anyone help me with getting completely sharp focus. Thanks!


    On some models, focus can be adjusted on a lens by lens bases.  I don’t have a 7D and have not found it necessary to adjust my camera’s focus.  I will get back to you.


    Photos!  Not awesome, not terrible.  I like 8313864_orig.jpg best.  He seems engaged.  I wonder what might have been possible.  The last one,  2167571_orig.jpg, really needs a flash or reflector in the face.  His eye sockets are quite dark.  With a flash, you could make the background a little darker and him bright, which can look good when done well and fake when done poorly.

    Later …


    you need a tripod if you’re planning on getting tack sharp images.

    Use the aperture to pull your subject away from the background.

    You say that you don’t have the best lens – the “thrifty-fifty” can aid you in producing magnificent shots. If you know how to use it.

    The 7D has the ability to make and store micro-adjustments to the AF system for each lens you have. This video will get you started:


    You can get an up-to-date manual here:  http://www.canon.ca/inetCA/serviceDetail?m=load&directLink=Y&mid=3814B005&type=D&opt=1

    Page 227 shows how to do the AF Microadjustment.

    The manual should be able to tell you how to see your camera’s firmware version.  You can download current firmware from Canon’s web page if your firmware is too old.

    Here is a target:  http://regex.info/i/FocusChart-v1.0-gray05.gif

    And, notes:  http://regex.info/blog/photo-tech/focus-chart


    If you don’t have a tripod, you can use a table, but a good tripod is better.

    As EyeDocPhotog said, the 50 mm f/1.8 II is a good lens.  I have one.  I like it because it is light.  Its only failing is that it has a tiny focus ring because they don’t intend you to manually focus with it.  Optically it is fine and it even has a built in hood!

    If you have the space, 85 mm to 135 mm is better for head and shoulders portraits.


    you need a tripod if you’re planning on getting tack sharp images.

    A disclaimer or two.  Frequently I use a tripod to get shots that are not tack sharp.  And, you don’t need a tripod to get tack sharp shots, but you do need to understand what you are attempting and a good grip helps.

    If you are shooting a stationary object, a tripod can easily get you a sharp shot.  If your subject is moving you may not get a sharp shot with a tripod.  When doing something like lens focus adjustment, a tripod can be a big help.


    I think out of all the images of Kyle you posted, you only have one worthy of displaying, which is the image of him staring into the camera holding his guitar (the 3rd image). All of the other images look pretty flat and boring. Nothing really stands out or gives you a “wow” factor.. kind of looks straight out of the camera and the last image looks like it could have been taken with a point-n-shoot.

    Also, it feels out of place for him to be wearing a suit in the environment you chose. Always take in account what your clients are going to wear and chose a location that best fits or seems more natural. This rule doesn’t always apply, especially if your creative intent it to contrast the environment with clothing but generally should be kept in mind.

    Lastly, the lighting in some of the images is very nice and soft whereas in others its harsh and gives Kyle raccoon eyes. Probable you should invest in a reflector or build your own. You can use a 20×30 plain white poster board, its inexpensive and easy to find.



    The 7d has a pretty advanced 19 point AF system. Highly accurate and very precise, but this also means it’s more difficult to master.
    I don’t think you have a lemon, and I don’t think 99.9% of the others claiming to have a lemon, have a lemon either.
    I had a hard time learning auto focus with my 7d and just when I thought I had it mastered, a new technique would get me pulling my hair out again. lol I’m very very familiar with all the 7d focus talk, and spent way too much time reading about it, and wondering if my camera sucked, when I should have been reading my manual.
    Yep, it was the person behind the camera making all the mistakes 😉 and once I saw that it was me, and not my camera, I went back and read those same forum and blog posts, and realized it was also the case with everyone else with a focus problem lol

    You’ll find this type of thing with any camera model or any lens if you’re looking for it. People LOVE to blame their equipment. It’s not just the 7d’s problem, there are billions of so called “lemons” out there 😉

    Here’s what I suggest. Go through your manual and check out the AF pages (most worn out part of my manual) extensively, while testing right as you go along so you completely understand each and every option, setting and technique and how to use them before moving on to the next. Use everyday items, pets, kids, whatever you see. Do test shots, use a tripod for the control to find your lenses sweet spot. Take your time a delve into it. Boring, but oh so satisfying.

    It’s worth it. I finally was in control of my camera instead of it controlling me, and once I took my time with it and understood, I never had a problem with focus ever again, and had people coming to me asking how a achieve such sharp selected focus (YAY) You can do it, and be just as thrilled with the 7d’s focus performance as everyone else who has taken the time to learn it.


    I don’t get to choose what they wear or the location. It’s not up to me. Also I will definitely invest in a reflector. Thanks. And, I did a test I found online where you set up your camera on a tripod and set your camera a certain distance away from a subject with certain settings. I read that this will let you know if something is wrong with your camera’s focus. Mine was not focused well when I did this. I’m not trying to blame my equipment. I’m hoping it’s not my equipment!


    I’ll agree number three is the best by far. In the others he either looks too stiff in the suit or he has that fake smile plastered on his face. A reflector on a small stand will help with the light in a few of these as at the moment they look very flat for the most part. Put a shoulder sling on your stand and it is easy to bring with you and if you can bring a speedlight which you can bounce off the reflector if need be.

    If you can’t get good results when you AFMA your lens manually maybe consider investing in reikan focal for about $60 which does it for you. The 50 1.8 has a shallow depth of field which takes some time getting used to and you have to be careful about focus point selection. Focus and recompose doesn’t work well. I’m assuming you have the camera in one shot mode.

    As for upgrades, I think the 85mm f1.8 probably makes more sense than the 50 1.4 as it would give you a different focal length to play with. Outdoors the 85 will perform better as it can do shallower depth of field but you can still back away as it will feel a bit long sometimes. It is also less fragile (if you look at the 50 1.4 the wrong way it may stop autofocusing, ok slight exaggeration)

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