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08-26-2015, 03:54 PM   #31
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QuoteOriginally posted by narual Quote
Instead of wider apertures, maybe you should be going for more depth of field instead. Then you have less worry about focusing.
I have to agree here. Kids are hard to catch in focus. Using a flash should help accommodate narrower apertures.

Although the speed of the FA31's f/1.8 aperture probably won't offer much practical benefit over the DA 16-50's f2.8, it does have a very fast focus speed, which will help. I don't have the 16-50, but I do have the DA*55 which has the SDM motor, and the FA31 (and every other screwdrive lens I have) is much faster than the DA*55's SDM.

The FA31 has beautiful bokeh, which you will enjoy as your child gets older and agrees to stand a bit more still.

08-26-2015, 04:06 PM   #32
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31mm set to f/11, put the focus halfway between 7 and the infinity mark, and everything in any reasonable distance should be in focus. indoors you might have to focus closer and lose some depth, but you shouldn't have to autofocus at all, and the flash will compensate for the light loss.
09-16-2015, 07:50 AM - 2 Likes   #33
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Kids are hard to focus, yes. I have plenty of experience with that

Here's what I found that works well:

1-Set your max ISO lower in the ISO range. I set mine at 1600 in my K-r and 800 in my K20D. You find what works well for you.
2-Use Av and stop down the lens one third. That would mean f/3.2 for your 16-50 and f2.8 for the DA 35 2.4. F2 for the FA 31.

That way, when the light gets lower and lower, it will lower the shutter speed instead of just increasing the ISO (the higher the ISO, the less sharp the pic will look, even if you do preserve details with modern cameras).

Now regarding technique taking kids pictures, three things are important:

1-The direction of light. Some call it "stepping into the good light". The light needs to be coming towards the subject, not their backs. I know that this is obvious but I see a lot of people complaining that their backlit subjects don't look good and then they blame the equipment. So position yourself where the light is shining on their face. If it isn't possible, just wait a few seconds and they'll move and the chase starts again
2-Have the finger on the shutter half-way (for SR activation) and wait for that "pause" moment. Don't shoot when they are actually moving, unless you are in good light. Motion blur will rob you of sharpness more than high ISO. DSLRs are great in that there is hardly any shutter lag, my K-r in particular is so great with that.
3-Always focus on the eyes. Who cares if the ears aren't perfectly in focus.

I usually annoy my kids for only about 5 minutes at a time, tops (I think). It's enough to get 1-2 good shots of each in good light. Then we go on with our day until next time.

But the fact is, by doing this I get wonderful pictures even with my K20D (and DA 35 2.4) at lower shutter speeds (even down to 1/15 or 1/20 is common for me) when they are having a "pause" moment in good light.

I hope that helps
09-16-2015, 11:38 AM - 1 Like   #34
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QuoteOriginally posted by ChristianRock Quote
The light needs to be coming towards the subject, not their backs. I know that this is obvious but I see a lot of people complaining that their backlit subjects don't look good and then they blame the equipment. So position yourself where the light is shining on their face.

"Stepping into the good light", as you explain it, may be an option, but it is by no means the only workable natural lighting for portraits, including portraits of children. There's even the drawback that facial features will be rendered in a rather flat manner, plus in bright sunlight your subjects will be likely to blink, which can be awkward.

In addition, you make backlit portraiture sound like a no go, which it clearly isn't. In an age of modern multicoated lenses, dedicated hoods, advanced metering, and phenomenal dynamic range there is no need to shun backlight. In other words, equipment really isn't the issue here. Actually, some of my most successful portraits were shot in backlit or slightly sidelit situations. Shooting in the (semi) shade or in diffuse light can be quite rewarding too. And when backlight gets too extreme, it can be tamed with light modifiers or some subtle fillflash.


Last edited by Madaboutpix; 09-16-2015 at 11:44 AM.
09-16-2015, 12:09 PM   #35
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QuoteOriginally posted by Madaboutpix Quote
"Stepping into the good light", as you explain it, may be an option, but it is by no means the only workable natural lighting for portraits, including portraits of children. There's even the drawback that facial features will be rendered in a rather flat manner, plus in bright sunlight your subjects will be likely to blink, which can be awkward.
Nobody mentioned sunlight... in a room usually there will be natural light coming from a window. The sun is not likely to be hitting anyone's faces.

QuoteQuote:
In addition, you make backlit portraiture sound like a no go, which it clearly isn't.
I didn't say that either. I said that in this situation, where natural light is coming through windows, backlit natural light pictures usually don't come out right.

QuoteQuote:
In an age of modern multicoated lenses, dedicated hoods, advanced metering, and phenomenal dynamic range there is no need to shun backlight.
Sorry, if you don't know the beauty of exploring natural light, I don't think I can help you. This isn't about the equipment, it is about what you are capturing.

QuoteQuote:
In other words, equipment really isn't the issue here. Actually, some of my most successful portraits were shot in backlit or slightly sidelit situations. Shooting in the (semi) shade or in diffuse light can be quite rewarding too. And when backlight gets too extreme, it can be tamed with light modifiers or some subtle fillflash.
The OP specifically said he wants to take natural light pictures and not use the flash.

I think you're confusing taking pictures in a house in available light with going out and taking formal portraits. Which is a totally different thing than what we are talking about here. just look at the OP's examples and you will see what he is attempting to do. This isn't a pro going around doing senior prom pictures while the sun is setting down in the horizon creating beautiful flare. It's someone like me who chases their kids around the house trying to take pictures. Do you have kids?
09-16-2015, 01:32 PM   #36
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QuoteOriginally posted by ChristianRock Quote
The OP specifically said he wants to take natural light pictures and not use the flash.

I think you're confusing taking pictures in a house in available light with going out and taking formal portraits. Which is a totally different thing than what we are talking about here. just look at the OP's examples and you will see what he is attempting to do. This isn't a pro going around doing senior prom pictures while the sun is setting down in the horizon creating beautiful flare. It's someone like me who chases their kids around the house trying to take pictures. Do you have kids?

If I missed the OP's main concern with indoor portraiture of infants (which seems to be the case), and thus commented on your remarks out of their proper context, I apologize. BTW, formals at pro level (whatever that is) were pretty much the last thing on my mind. Rather, I was thinking of making natural light work in outdoor portrait shoots. If I have kids? Yep, two in fact, and they haven't always been aged 22 and 12.

QuoteOriginally posted by ChristianRock Quote
Sorry, if you don't know the beauty of exploring natural light, I don't think I can help you. This isn't about the equipment, it is about what you are capturing.

Er, why are you being so defensive? Feel free to check out some of my images on 500px, for instance. If you still feel I don't know the beauty of exploring natural light then, well ... you're entitled to your opinion. And could it be that the OP's interest was mainly in how to capture his kids?

Seriously, I was not intending to offend you, nor indiscriminately dismissing your expertise. Maybe it's that your remarks just triggered a reflex to one of my pet hates, that die-hard myth about backlight being one of the worst photographic evils ... So, no need to blow it, really.
09-16-2015, 02:13 PM   #37
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QuoteOriginally posted by Madaboutpix Quote
Er, why are you being so defensive? Feel free to check out some of my images on 500px, for instance. If you still feel I don't know the beauty of exploring natural light then, well ... you're entitled to your opinion. And could it be that the OP's interest was mainly in how to capture his kids?
I saw your 500px feed, some great pictures in there. The best ones seem to be where you found the subject "stepping into the good light" - so I'm not sure why you took exception to what I said. Again, look back at what you wrote and you'll see why it basically says that light in the direction of the subject is no longer necessary for good pictures because of current technology. I was pretty surprised you would say that, as I (and I know others) believe there is no technology substitute for good light. Maybe you misrepresented what wanted to express? Maybe you didn't pay attention to the whole thread before your reply?

QuoteQuote:
Seriously, I was not intending to offend you, nor indiscriminately dismissing your expertise. Maybe it's that your remarks just triggered a reflex to one of my pet hates, that die-hard myth about backlight being one of the worst photographic evils ... So, no need to blow it, really.
I think if you look back you'll see that you came down pretty hard on me and put me on defensive. Maybe it wasn't your intention, but I was just explaining why I said what I said (or typed what I typed ).
09-16-2015, 04:03 PM   #38
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Here are two I took last Saturday, one without flash and one with. I will try setting my K-50 next time like you suggested ChristianRock!

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09-19-2015, 06:02 PM - 1 Like   #39
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QuoteOriginally posted by kjphilippona Quote
Here are two I took last Saturday, one without flash and one with. I will try setting my K-50 next time like you suggested ChristianRock!
Hi KJ, I was just looking at your pictures, and one thing that occurred to me is that they seem front focused. So in addition to what's been suggested, I'd also suggest that you play with the focus adjustment in your camera. Pick a target (I have shelves of books and CDs that work great if I get them from a 60+ degree angle). A printed sheet also works well if you put it on your desk and take a picture at an angle. Those of course are very non-scientific, you can also print out a "focus ruler" or look at threads where people who know much more than me can tell you how to do it perfectly. But I've got my two cameras with the adjustments they need to take good kid pictures so I'm talking about what worked for me.

Finally, one more thing. I usually use the "natural" JPEG setting in my K-r (since my wife hates RAW and it's her main camera) and shoot RAW in my K20D (which I don't let her touch ). It seems like you are using a very non-flattering JPEG setting so I'm interested in seeing what you are doing, your colors seem a bit off in those last pictures you posted. So I would play with the settings as well. Mind you, there's some settings that have a set color temperature, at least in my K-r (like the slide film emulation that doesn't work for inside pictures at all, this one can only be used outdoors). I'd use "natural" and adjust contrast and sharpening to your taste, and once you are comfortable with that and start getting some good results, start playing with the other settings if you feel they add something that you don't get from the "natural" setting.

Good luck and keep us updated!
09-20-2015, 06:36 AM   #40
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Thank you ChristianRock for your help, I did try setting my auto focus using the AA batteries but had no luck. I then purchased a cheep focus pyramid from ebay and adjusted all my lenses on both my cameras, this was a pain and took some time also my eye sight is not the best anymore. For what ever reason I did not go thru the process with the FA31 when I purchased it, I guess not wanting to take the time setting my camera up and it being so expensive, thinking it would be calibrated correctly. I am at home mending from resent surgery so time is not a issue.
09-20-2015, 07:21 PM   #41
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I also was in the hospital this past week and now I'm taking some strong medication. So I'm not as active online as I usually am…

Here's wishes for a very speedy recovery for you!
09-21-2015, 05:41 AM   #42
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Same wishes to you!
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