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04-23-2009, 04:54 PM   #31
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
larger aperture means smaller DOF, but smaller f-*number* means larger f-stop. I
Throw the words wider and narrower in there to best explain it:

Smaller F number = wider aperture.
Wider aperture = less depth of field.

04-23-2009, 07:48 PM   #32
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Julie, I know, go figure, eh? lol

Marc, its like the ultimate oxymoron, isn't it?
large equals small equals large just to equal small again.....AHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!

where's my Calgon?

Ira, no worries, I always shoot at the highest res and sometimes in RAW if Im going to have the time to futts with it.
...thanks, the cat pic did turn out pretty cool. Just the right sharpness, but not hard edged.

My property backs up to an apple orchard that happens to be in bloom at the moment.
Its going to be 80* tomorrow, I'll have to get my work finished and get out there and shoot!

thanks again, all
you've all gone above and beyond =)
04-24-2009, 06:40 PM   #33
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I agree with Marc and the others above. The aperature you used is definately not good for such a wide open shot. Try also to use the smallest ISO possible. This will prevent 'grain' from showing in your photos and make them sharper. Better to get the shot right the first time and spend less time trying to fix it in photoshop. To see what I mean try this experiment: Set your camera to AV...using the same aperature but with a person or thing as your subject to see the results that I'm talking about. Pull in the shot tight so that your subject almost fills the frame. If your handholding, keep your camera shake option on, if on a tripod, tun it off. (I have a K20D and if it's left on while on a tripod it actually trys to prevent shaking and will cause an unsharp shot) If you are indoors, don't use above a 400 ISO, if outdoors, try the ISO at 100 or 200. (I actually use 100 at all times if I can get away with it; indoors or out) With such a wide aperature (3.5) you will get more light hitting your sensor and might not need a higher ISO. Did it make your background blurry? If you want to get a more open shot, keeping everything in sharp focus, do all the above things again, but set your aperature to something like F5.6 or F/8 for your indoor room. The ISO might need to go to 400, depending on how light your room is. Use a flash and then again without and see what you get. Hope it helps. Hope I explained this right.
04-24-2009, 08:15 PM   #34
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QuoteOriginally posted by Falld5 Quote
I agree with Marc and the others above. The aperature you used is definately not good for such a wide open shot. Try also to use the smallest ISO possible. This will prevent 'grain' from showing in your photos and make them sharper. Better to get the shot right the first time and spend less time trying to fix it in photoshop. To see what I mean try this experiment: Set your camera to AV...using the same aperature but with a person or thing as your subject to see the results that I'm talking about. Pull in the shot tight so that your subject almost fills the frame. If your handholding, keep your camera shake option on, if on a tripod, tun it off. (I have a K20D and if it's left on while on a tripod it actually trys to prevent shaking and will cause an unsharp shot) If you are indoors, don't use above a 400 ISO, if outdoors, try the ISO at 100 or 200. (I actually use 100 at all times if I can get away with it; indoors or out) With such a wide aperature (3.5) you will get more light hitting your sensor and might not need a higher ISO. Did it make your background blurry? If you want to get a more open shot, keeping everything in sharp focus, do all the above things again, but set your aperature to something like F5.6 or F/8 for your indoor room. The ISO might need to go to 400, depending on how light your room is. Use a flash and then again without and see what you get. Hope it helps. Hope I explained this right.
Well, I suppose you live in a bright house - Me? I have to use ISO 2000 and f/2.8 to get 1/15 of a second, which of course still gives me lots of blurry shots of my boy running around. Limiting myself to ISO 400 would be like only shooting with the lens cap on. For architectural stuff I agree with you - tripod and ISO 100, but for chasing my boy, that won't do.

I know Marc shoots at high ISOs all the time too for his jazz (?) phography.

04-25-2009, 10:21 AM   #35
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I must live in a bright house, I'd never use a higher ISO unless absolutely necessary. I get that from my instructors where I am studying. Don't know what kind of camera you use, I have a K20D, which handles the lower iso's just fine. I did when I first began in photography use a 1600 iso on a family portrait and ended up having to tweak it with neat image to get the grain somewhat subsided. i have a AF540 flash now that does wonders also and allows me to shoot 100-200 indoors...but...I've shot strictly with my pop-up and never had a problem with my 400 iso.
04-25-2009, 10:46 AM   #36
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I do use ISO 1600 all the time on my K200D for jazz photography and general indoor candids. I never use 1/15" shutter speed, though. With an f/2.8 lens, usually there is enough light for a decent exposure at 1/30" or even higher - and I'm not talking unusually bright environments. Ordinary household lamps. But when it is on the dimmer side I don't get a decent exposure at 1/30", I settle for an indecent one at 1/30" (that I can fix in PP) over a decent one at 1/15", to avoid blur.

Yes, I could use a faster lens, but I find DOF gets so thin I'm not doing myself any favors. Shallow DOF is fine for certain type of shots, but frustrating to me for candids. I'll live with a little noise (or choose to smooth it away in PP if I'm giving the picture to soemone else who I think would rather have it that way) instead.

But I'm not shooting people who are activly running around, either. Doing that without flash seems a major exercise in futility no matter the camera or lens.
04-25-2009, 12:02 PM   #37
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QuoteOriginally posted by Falld5 Quote
I must live in a bright house, I'd never use a higher ISO unless absolutely necessary.
Yeah - actually, I live in a very dim house - not much daylight leaks in, and the walls are dark wood, and the carpet is dark and the furniture... Lots of photon captors around here...
QuoteOriginally posted by Falld5 Quote
i have a AF540 flash now that does wonders also and allows me to shoot 100-200 indoors...but...I've shot strictly with my pop-up and never had a problem with my 400 iso.
Oh, yeah... Flash - I don't usually use flash since I don't have an external flash, and the onboard unit throws the shadow of the DA* 16-50 on the lower half of the frame - I will someday get am external flash and learn to use it properly

QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
I do use ISO 1600 all the time on my K200D for jazz photography and general indoor candids. I never use 1/15" shutter speed, though. With an f/2.8 lens, usually there is enough light for a decent exposure at 1/30" or even higher - and I'm not talking unusually bright environments. Ordinary household lamps. But when it is on the dimmer side I don't get a decent exposure at 1/30", I settle for an indecent one at 1/30" (that I can fix in PP) over a decent one at 1/15", to avoid blur.
yeah - I've done that too, more so with the K200D than the 20...

QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
But I'm not shooting people who are activly running around, either. Doing that without flash seems a major exercise in futility no matter the camera or lens.
Well, if I were doing this for money or a purpose other than fun (ie if I needed a real keeper rate), I'd have to get a flash and learn to use it properly... Since I'm doing this for fun, I can shoot 20 shots to get a good one (and it only needs to be good enough to impress the grandmas ).
04-25-2009, 02:23 PM   #38
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QuoteOriginally posted by heliphoto Quote
if I were doing this for money or a purpose other than fun (ie if I needed a real keeper rate), I'd have to get a flash and learn to use it properly... Since I'm doing this for fun, I can shoot 20 shots to get a good one (and it only needs to be good enough to impress the grandmas ).
With you 100% there. There was one shot I took two stops underexposed at ISO 1600 and pushed in PP - the equivalent of ISO 6400 - that I posted here and people called it "disturbing" because of the noise. The parents of child in the picture call it one of their favorite pictures ever.

04-27-2009, 08:04 AM   #39
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great advice here, Im going to absorb as much info as I can.
a friend and his fiance asked me to get as many candid shots as I can at their wedding next month...they have a pro photog (her sister), but they said they liked my energy and asked me to assist.

o.O

again, thank you so much, I need to bone-up on my skills so I don't disappoint.
no pressure there.

well, Im off to deliver a cake for a local spa's grand opening
excuse the quick, grainy shot.
04-27-2009, 08:54 AM   #40
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Nice Cake! When it comes down to it..I suppose ISO, shutter speed and aperature just depend on the environment your in. Making them work together is the trick in it all. Thanks, the conversation was fun.
04-27-2009, 10:09 AM   #41
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QuoteOriginally posted by Niki Quote
Julie, I know, go figure, eh? lol

Marc, its like the ultimate oxymoron, isn't it?
large equals small equals large just to equal small again.....AHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!

where's my Calgon?

Hi Niki,

The f/stop numbers are really fractions - it might help to think of them this way. For example, on a 50mm lens f/2 is 1/2 of 50 or an opening of 25mm. f/4 is 1/4 of 50 or an opening of 12.5mm. Hope this helps.
04-27-2009, 10:42 PM   #42
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QuoteOriginally posted by OregonJim Quote
Hi Niki,

The f/stop numbers are really fractions - it might help to think of them this way. For example, on a 50mm lens f/2 is 1/2 of 50 or an opening of 25mm. f/4 is 1/4 of 50 or an opening of 12.5mm. Hope this helps.
I never knew that.
04-28-2009, 08:53 PM   #43
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Hi - advice from a digital beginner, so it might be wrong, but here goes. (I mostly shoot film on older cameras available light - so even worse)

a) Try to not use too many settings on your DSLR - it is just confusing - at least for me.

b) Settle in on aperture priority and always stop down at least 1 -2 stops - more if you can. You will get 90% of the family shots you need this way. Set the aperature so that you are shooting at least 1/30 sec, 1/60th sec is better.

c) ISO settings - for now, just use 800 and don't goof around with it for 6 months.

d) Manually focus - auto focus is just a gimmick and there are too many times it will not work when you think it should. Trust yourself, not the machine.

e) Buy a fixed focal length lens - I like 50mm, but others like 35 or so. They are sharper and have higher F stops (more light can come in) I like the M lenses (cheap, good, but not auto focus)

f) When lighting conditions are uneven - over expose. My very limited experience is that digital cameras take really grainy pictures when under exposed, and usually it is the under exposed areas that I want. (faces)

The flash on the camera can be used to fill in some extra light into those shadows - but red eyes are a given. I know, the red - eye removal digital tricks - I don't buy it. Too old school I guess. It is just another gimick to fix a poor design. Flash lamps should be at least 12 inches from the lens - true 50 years ago - true today.


The window shot of your room is more challenging than you might imagine, but a useful example.

Notice how the light coming in the window tends to take over the picture ? This is the same problem if you take pictures with light from the back of the subject. Lots of people try to PS this into a decent shot, but it is just plain a bad setup. Available light means you need to use the light in a positive way in the composition.

This is also why your outdoor pics are fine - plenty of light and I am guessing you are not shooting into the sun either.

The meter is going to use all of that light coming in from the window for the exposure setting, so the rest of the picture will be under exposed. With modern film, this is actually less of a problem, as 100 years of improvement have made film pretty forgiving. With digitals, exposure forgiveness is not something I have found.

The pro's are already giving better advice, but this is what I have found.
04-29-2009, 07:47 AM   #44
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QuoteOriginally posted by OregonJim Quote
Hi Niki,

The f/stop numbers are really fractions - it might help to think of them this way. For example, on a 50mm lens f/2 is 1/2 of 50 or an opening of 25mm. f/4 is 1/4 of 50 or an opening of 12.5mm. Hope this helps.
very good info here, that does help a lot, thank you Jim!
f=fractions, now that I will remember

Harry, thank you, I get what you are saying about the pic of the room. Since all that light was pouring in from one side of the room, the camera had no choice but to use that for its exposure reference point.

Ive been messing around in different light situations seeing how the aperture/iso/shutter speed change the photos. Most of my problem is that Im so picky.
Again, you all have been so helpful and generous with your time and expertise, thank you.

Last edited by Niki; 04-29-2009 at 08:39 AM.
04-29-2009, 08:50 AM   #45
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QuoteOriginally posted by Niki Quote
oh, p.s...one more question
Is there any way to make the pop-up flash less....severe?
a quick fix to diffuse the light perhaps, soften it a titch?

One thing that might help is using ISO 800, and don't stop down any more than necessary for adequate depth-of field. This will make the most of the ambient light and the flash won't have to work so hard.

If you just want to reduce flash output, that's what flash compensation is for.

If you actually want to diffuse the built-in flash, some use homemade diffusers like cutting a hole in a translucent film canister and mounting that on the flash. You may find other diy ideas (plastic cup?) here. There are also some commercial products available, but I've never tried any. I believe hotshoe accessory bounce flashes to be very useful accessories.
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