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05-19-2014, 02:59 PM   #16
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Great. Thanks.

I stand corrected. I appreciate it actually.

Yes. The good one was very early in the day and slightly overcast. The second was a harsh August afternoon sun.

The good person takes appointments only morning and evening for August.

This gives me a lot to work with really.

As a side note I'm hoping my sister is the main photographer. Her kit is maybe 10k. And her experience was 4 years of the army as a combat photographer including decorations for desert storm.

I'm the backup person but want to do better day to day portraits and story telling.

But I really am trying to understand why I love the one and three year photos and hate the two year photos.

You do not have access to all that. But they were $1000-1500 a session. I just don't have it now that I am single income single daddy.

05-19-2014, 05:10 PM   #17
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It's not cheap but the FA77 is a worthwhile investment. It seems I almost can't take a bad photo with it. Everything it captures is gold.
05-19-2014, 05:24 PM   #18
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That is the comment I was waiting for to " authorize" the purchase.
05-19-2014, 05:40 PM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by dcBear78 Quote
It's not cheap but the FA77 is a worthwhile investment. It seems I almost can't take a bad photo with it. Everything it captures is gold.
As in most cases, the person behind the camera is the weakest link....

05-19-2014, 06:46 PM   #20
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We call it operator error or bozo alert where I work lol
05-20-2014, 03:00 AM   #21
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The DA50 is a great portrait lens already. Just get some more practice in before counting it out.

The FA77 is also great if you are buying it.
05-20-2014, 03:57 AM - 1 Like   #22
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By any lens possible!

Any of the lenses will work. The investment needs to be in the photographer's training and skills, and I mean no disrespect in suggesting this. Any one of us can benefit from more knowledge and training. I think framing and composition along with depth of field work is most relevant for child photography. Any of these lens, at the largest aperture, will give some sort of blurred background, and any of them properly focussed will give a sharp image of the model. With kids, in my view, a large part of capturing a memorable moment is waiting and watching carefully for that moment to occur. Firing off a series of shots with the hope that one will be good is generally a fruitless exercise. One thing you can do is to construct the child's environment so as to induce the desired modeling behavior--a favorite toy, a new toy, something to catch the kid's attention and get them to stand still for a moment with an interesting expression on their face. Another part is making sure in advance that the background of the photo is acceptable . . . sure you can blur it with wide apertures, but not all blurred backgrounds are the same. Given all of this, I find that one of my nifty fifties works best, or the 58 mm Helios. On cropped sensor, these are great portraiture lens focal lengths. I love the 77 for still portraiture, but it puts me a little too far back for child portraiture where I want full or partial body, and not just torso. The fifties give me a chance to move in or back up as the specific shot requires.

All of the foregoing notwithstanding, I would buy the 77 anyway, even if it were not the ideal FC for child photography. My wife calls it our magic lens because it makes every photo better.

Last edited by ivanvernon; 05-20-2014 at 03:59 AM. Reason: addition & correction
05-20-2014, 11:22 AM - 1 Like   #23
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This works out then. The 77 is for still portaitures. I've been working out a lot with my other lenses both to get better, and for story telling.
BTW, all GREAT advice and I take it to heart. I've been trying to take online youtube courses.

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05-20-2014, 01:11 PM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by condor27596 Quote
This works out then. The 77 is for still portaitures. I've been working out a lot with my other lenses both to get better, and for story telling.
BTW, all GREAT advice and I take it to heart. I've been trying to take online youtube courses.
These are both credible efforts, shows you are on the road to successful portraiture!
05-20-2014, 01:48 PM   #25
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Yes, those are pictures you are going to enjoy for years.

A couple things...

. See how the DA 50 with its faster aperture is capable of isolating the subject better from the background? The first shot, being in a smaller aperture, ends up looking "busy" in the background. And sometimes, when the background is beautiful, that's what you want. But not when it's just a heap

. On the 2nd picture especially, I would try and put her slightly off center. That is one thing that makes a picture look more like a snapshot than a pro shot - when the subject is dead centered. There are exceptions, of course, and the first picture you posted at the beginning of this thread is one. In that picture, she made it look artistic by choosing an angled background that had lines and repetitive patterns. There's a lot of articles online on the subject of "rules of composition" - that's another thing to study. Don't get too hung up on them, but they are good to know.

. There's a lot of discussion about whether one should shoot raw or not. With new cameras, the jpeg engines are quite good. But with my K20D (which is the same generation as your K200D), I find that the jpeg engine isn't that great. So I shoot raw - even if I don't do anything else, my software does a better job of converting from raw to jpeg than the K20D does. The colors look more natural, contrast is better, etc. It even does a better job guessing the white balance. Plus - I can select an entire directory and right click and just choose "Export to JPG" on my software, hopefully yours also has that option. But usually I'll go through the pictures and pick the ones I want and do at least level adjustments.

. Finally, the 2nd shot seems underexposed. Most softwares have a one-click level adjustment feature that would take care of that in an instant.

I hope you don't mind me doing a little of PP work just to show you small changes can make a big difference. I didn't do a whole lot because I used your small jpg that you posted as the base. Mainly level adjustment, some selective sharpening, bringing the eyes out a bit, getting rid of some yellows in the face, and getting rid of one strand of hair that was sticking out too much. And cropping to 4x3 to get her off center a bit. Working with a full size raw file would yield much better results, but this will give you an idea, maybe... of course that's just my style of editing, you could be looking for something totally different...
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05-20-2014, 06:58 PM   #26
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More tomorrow from the computer. That adjustment is fantastic. And frankly with the right outfit would be a birthday shot.

I'd like to photoshop in some volcanos and lava in the first shot lol. Notice the death grip hand on the clothes. We were REALLY high up where they are building a super highway and it was a 100 ft pile of dirt.
I have other shots that show the scale of it better but the pic not as good. That was all one hand camera work.

I'm really working hard to get better at this.

---------- Post added 05-20-14 at 10:09 PM ----------

I also plan to shoot raw some more in the future. I stopped doing that for story telling as it was just clogging my computer. I have 50 percent custody and since I decided to step up my game I take 300-500 shots a week. 90 percent are just normal life - so later on she will have the story of what we did.
05-20-2014, 08:06 PM   #27
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I have a feeling that you have a FF issue with your lens as I think her fingers are sharper than her face in the second photo (which hopefully that is what you lock the focus on).
05-20-2014, 09:52 PM   #28
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Simply fantastic suggestions here. When I started with my *ist D 10 years ago, I got a Tamron 28-75/2.8 as my first lens upgrade. It barely left my camera for the next 5-6 years. Most of my first child's images were from that combo. And if you watch the light, most can be keepers.
05-21-2014, 12:18 AM   #29
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I am looking through my photos and realise it has been a while since I pulled the 77 out for some action...

But here is one of my daughter. I wasn't planning on taking pictures of her, I was taking pictures of my nieces and she was just sitting, occupying herself and I took this shot.

Waiting Patiently
by dcBear78, on Flickr

This is the shot I was actually taking...

Ash & Jaimee
by dcBear78, on Flickr

The 77 allows you some reach so you can be back a bit and just let people do their thing and get some good candids...

20130525-IMGP2678.jpg
by dcBear78, on Flickr

20130525-IMGP2675.jpg
by dcBear78, on Flickr

20130525-IMGP2624.jpg
by dcBear78, on Flickr
05-21-2014, 04:39 AM   #30
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Those are fantastic pics. And the reason for the most part I stopped using my point and click.
A little inconvienent at times to take with me but even the random no good shots using the green button
turn out way better.
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