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02-21-2010, 05:09 PM   #1
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I'm really trying to work on composition. Do you think I got these right?
Also, I'm trying to get the hang of manual focusing but it's frustrating. The camera will beep and say that the subject is in focus, but then when i view the pic later, sometimes it looks a little soft. Guess I need more practice.

ISO: 400
Aperture: f/3.5
Shutter Speed: 1/180
Focal Length: 50mm
ev comp: +1

ISO: 400
Aperture: f/3.5
Shutter Speed: 1/90
Focal Length: 50mm
ev comp: +1/2

ISO: 200
Aperture: f/2.8
Shutter Speed: 1/350
Focal Length: 50mm
ev comp: +1

02-21-2010, 08:22 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by kewpie-o Quote
I'm really trying to work on composition. Do you think I got these right?
Composition on these seems ok to me. The backgrounds on the 1st & 3rd are a little messy with the fences, etc. At least they are nicely OOF. I'm not sure much else could have been done about it. Lens flare in #1 is well placed and not too distracting.

I think #2 looks like you had some control over the set up. But it too seems a little cluttered. I think it would have been better without the pink chair and basket of books on camera left. A square crop to remove that stuff might work. It's a cute picture regardless.

QuoteOriginally posted by kewpie-o Quote
Also, I'm trying to get the hang of manual focusing but it's frustrating. The camera will beep and say that the subject is in focus, but then when i view the pic later, sometimes it looks a little soft. Guess I need more practice.
It don't think you are manual focusing when you rely on the camera beep to tell you the image is in focus. The camera thinks something is in focus, but maybe not what you wanted. (Thus the rational for manual focus in the first place.) And the softness could possibly be motion blur or camera shake.
02-21-2010, 09:28 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by kewpie-o Quote
I'm really trying to work on composition. Do you think I got these right?
Your model is a cutie. But there is too much background clutter. Don't be afraid to move in close and let your subject fill the frame. Your focus is actually pretty good, but these two suffers from reduced contrast due to glare from the strong back lighting. Fortunately, this can be mitigated easily in post processing.

Last edited by song_hm; 02-21-2010 at 09:58 PM.
02-21-2010, 10:46 PM   #4
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Regarding composition, I like the crops above to remove some of the background distractions. I really like #2 and agree with the idea of removing the items on the left of the frame. That would make it an outstanding photo with regard to subject, composition, exposure and lighting. It does look a bit soft, maybe like the focus is on the bandana around her neck. I feel your pain in this regard--I'm still working on getting the focus down on my manual 50mm. I've found that my K20D front focuses a bit, especially in tungsten light (though #2 looks like you're using natural light). I haven't tested the focus in any other type of light, but I suspect the focus may be off a bit as well (easily adjustable with the K20D). Another thing to keep in mind, as many have pointed out in various threads, the focal points are actually quite large, much larger than the little red box that lights up in the viewfinder. It could be picking up on anything within that area. I am seriously considering getting a split focus screen, which would make the manual focusing much easier.

One other point is that the 50mm lenses (not sure which one you have) are a bit soft under f/4.0. I did some tests with mine (manual 50 f/1.7) and was amazed at how sharp things get at f/4.0 and above. As all of your shots were a bit below this, I would expect a little softness.

Having said all this, if #3 was with manual focus, you did a really good job with a moving target.

Last edited by zombieCat; 02-21-2010 at 10:51 PM.
02-23-2010, 05:16 PM   #5
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I actually liked the original compositions...sure, may looked cluttered, but it provided context. Also, i think they followed the rule of thirds pretty well. But i am not an expert.

If the background of the first picture is as blurred as the last, it might take away from the distraction better. just my 2 cents
02-24-2010, 09:19 AM   #6
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The first one is great, because you were lucky to get a great flare that actually makes the shot. I dont agree that the background is bad, but like the filtered-thru-trees light of it. It's just too bad the fence is growing out of her butt. The roll you put on the horizon is perfect.

The second one: DONT take objects out of this scene! Back up three or four steps, keeping her feet at the bottom where they are and the basket at right in the same position relative to the borders too. this way we add to the top and left, getting the doorknob that that cute sign hangs on, making her look smaller (because she's tiny, after all) and pushing her into a better rule of thirds position. Of course this may not have worked depending on how much room to walk and how much wall you had on the left of the frame. I think the chair on the right is great and balancing, but if you really staged the scene you might think more carefully about what goes on the chair and whether the basket of books is in front or behind. Another cool thing would be to move that chair and pile of books close up and OOF as a framing object on the extreme right lower corner. This would be my favourite if she was a bit smaller in the frame, and I could see that doorknob (is it glass? please let it be glass!)

The last one on the swing is just awesome, and anyone who says different is just jealous It has motion, sharpness, context and pose.
02-24-2010, 11:50 PM   #7
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I like them all. I agree that the flare in shot #1 really adds to the photo. I like #1 uncropped but #3 cropped. It might be worth while blurring out the fence in #1 with a bit of PP.
02-25-2010, 08:24 PM   #8
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My favorite is # 2.... i think the clutter is what makes the picture.... i do feel you should wither back up just one or 2 steps or maybe even just adjust your focus a tad bit...the pic is amazing but small unimportant details are being cut out that will complete your photo


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