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12-14-2014, 06:39 PM   #1
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Why the shadows??

Hi folks,
This is potentially embarrassing because I believe I know the answer, BUT:

when shooting up close*, I notice my photos some have shadows on them.
(examples provided)

I'm shooting with a K3 and the Pentax 50-135 lens

* most are within a foot, but there was a few times when I've shot a few feet away and this has happened

The lens hood is not on, neither is a filter, no hat on me to block the flash and I'm fairly certain I've had my hand away from the flash.

Just never seen this happen before.

I'm thinking it's because I'm too close? I don't get it.

Usually happens in AV mode as well if that matters?

No PP on the photos yet. I was in a hurry to eat
For you folks in the Ottawa, Ontario/Gatineau PQ area, this if from my brother and sis-in-law's restaurant The Village House


Cheers,
Keebler


Last edited by Keebler; 01-18-2016 at 09:05 PM.
12-14-2014, 06:44 PM   #2
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Some lenses simply are too long for the in-camera flash and you'll catch the shadow of the lens itself. My 10-20mm will do it every time because of the nature of the beast.

In your first shot, you can actually see the curvature of the lens at play (if I'm actually right here).
12-14-2014, 06:46 PM   #3
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If I had to guess I would say it may be the lens, or your hand.

what I would do, to narrow it down, is to setup the camera to shoot a plain area in the same way, such as an empty table.
Once I had got it so that the shadows were repeatable I would then narrow down what is causing the shadows by placing something on the camera at suspected points (lens and hand grip)
I'd stick a triangle cut from a post-it note on them.

Take the shots again, if the shadow now has a triangle from the sticky note, you've found what's causing the shadow.
12-14-2014, 07:02 PM   #4
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I think this one is related to lens size and its focal length. Usually this problem can be seen with ultra wide angle lenses (and nobody uses flash for super telephoto anyway, at least without remote triggers).
You can try using different extensions of the lens (zoom, focus) and see if this causes changes. But the only way to avoid this issue is to get a remote trigger and move the flash off-camera. This is generally a good idea, since it will give you a lot more freedom with the photos, and make them look better. Some triggers can be found online for very low costs, brand name triggers will cost more.

Nice food BTW. I would use EV +/- to add a little brightness, seems the white plate is making the meter think there is more light in the frame than there actually is

12-14-2014, 07:20 PM   #5
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Thanks folks. I think you're confirming what I thought - the focal length and the lens.

Na, I will check the EV next time. I was in a rush b/c I was going to hold my nephew while they ate lol

The food is so fantastic.

The 1st photo is: (from the menu):

potatoe wrapped pickerel with warm cabbage, carrof & fish rilette slaw, smoked tomatoe ketchup.

2nd is:

grilled scallops, roesti, sauteed spinach, parsnip puree, bacon & chili oil

Cheers,
Keebler
12-14-2014, 07:26 PM   #6
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Nice food plate.... would be very nice and appetizing and mouth watering if the shots are better...
12-14-2014, 07:49 PM   #7
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Put a Styrofoam cup over the flash or hold a piece of white paper a few inches in front of your flash. Both are good makeshift diffusers for macro work with on board flash
12-14-2014, 08:23 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by aleonx3 Quote
Nice food plate.... would be very nice and appetizing and mouth watering if the shots are better...
lol I'll do better next time Al. I promise.

12-14-2014, 08:26 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Keebler Quote
lol I'll do better next time Al. I promise.
I was only kidding ... actually since you mentioned it; why not just shoot without flash? your k-3 can handle it better even in high iso..
12-14-2014, 09:03 PM   #10
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There's a chart on p. 84 of the manual that lists lenses that create a shadow with the onboard flash. Although the 18-135 isn't listed, a lot of the lenses include notes about problems at wider focal lengths and short distances. You might try simply backing up and zooming in.
12-14-2014, 10:35 PM   #11
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I agree that the lens has created shadow in the first shot - but not all of it.
Both shots have a shadow coming in from the lower left hand side - the lens would create only a central shadow as shown by the curved part of shadow in pic one.
So... what caused the other shadow?
Do you hold the zoom or focussing ring from the top (so fingers above the lens and thumb below)?
If so, that might be your shadow.
12-15-2014, 02:28 AM   #12
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It really looks like your hand is blocking the flash, the lens usually shows as a perfectly radial shadow.
Straight on flash like that mostly look horrible for food pics anyway.
12-15-2014, 03:37 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by aleonx3 Quote
I was only kidding ... actually since you mentioned it; why not just shoot without flash? your k-3 can handle it better even in high iso..
I figured you were joking - definitely not offended

Not sure why I did use the flash - laziness, too rushed probably lol

I'll be back there for sure and will avoid the flash
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