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01-18-2010, 06:10 PM   #1
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Question about "psychedelic" photos?

I recently purchased a k-x for my wife to replace her point-and-shoot she uses for taking photos of the animals at the local animal protective league.

Most of the photos she takes are just fine, but some (perhaps 1 out of 20) are blurry/color ghosted - I don't really know how to describe it. One of her friends said they looked "psychedelic". Below is a sample. It was taken under fluorescent light, full auto mode of the camera, with flash - f4.5, 1/13 sec., ISO 800 using the 50-200 Pentax lens that came with the camera (I bought it with the 18-55 and the 50-200).



I don't know enough about photography and neither does my wife to understand what is wrong here - is it just out of focus? Camera movement? Something else???

This is our first SLR - digital or film, so we have a lot of learning to do.

Thanks for any information you can provide.

01-18-2010, 06:15 PM   #2
Igilligan
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That looks a bit like the flash is set to slow sync...

There is no exif info in the photo, so it is tough to say what is going on.

Check flash icon at the bottom of the four way switch and see what setting your flash is set to.
01-18-2010, 07:01 PM   #3
Damn Brit
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That shutter speed is very slow, and also the fluorescent lights might have an affect.
01-18-2010, 07:14 PM   #4
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Hi Paul,

It looks like the flash failed to fire -- possibly you didn't wait long enough for it to charge. . . there is a lot of lateral camera motion evident, and you'd probably get a reasonable exposure in normal room light at 1/13, f4.5 and ISO 800. Also there's no "green eye" evident in the dog's eyes.

There's a menu setting that allows a shot to be taken while the internal flash is still charging -- do you have this enabled?

Scott

01-18-2010, 07:18 PM   #5
Damn Brit
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QuoteOriginally posted by snostorm Quote
It looks like the flash failed to fire
Good spot, a little voice was telling me something else was wrong with the picture but I failed to listen.
01-18-2010, 08:10 PM   #6
Igilligan
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But the flash did fire or else why does the dog have one green eye? I am so confused.

Or does the dog have Glaucoma?

Last edited by Igilligan; 01-18-2010 at 08:17 PM.
01-18-2010, 08:15 PM   #7
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I definitely think that there is some kind of slow sync or rear curtain flash going on. Basically, the camera is taking a longer exposure and then firing the flash which gives you ghosting along with a sharp image. Just change the flash setting to regular flash and you should be fine.
01-18-2010, 08:38 PM   #8
Damn Brit
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
I definitely think that there is some kind of slow sync or rear curtain flash going on. Basically, the camera is taking a longer exposure and then firing the flash which gives you ghosting along with a sharp image. Just change the flash setting to regular flash and you should be fine.

Hopefully the OP will provide exif to clarify things.

01-18-2010, 09:43 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Damn Brit Quote
Hopefully the OP will provide exif to clarify things.
It would also be helpful for the OP to post the exif for a shot that came out okay. Info from the directly previous or subsequent shot would be the best.

Scott
01-18-2010, 10:07 PM   #10
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It looks like camera motion to me. A shutter speed of 1/13 @ f/4.5 @ ISO 800 in a normally lit room, is enough to allow the ambient light to give a halfway decent exposure.

So, even if the flash did fire, the ambient light would create an image. When done deliberately, this is called dragging the shutter.

Was SR turned on? If not, you need it on for shots like that. If it was on, she may not have given the SR time to stabilize. There is a little hand icon in the viewfinder that lights up when the camera has stabilized the image. Pentax cameras WILL allow the shutter to be fired without waiting for this. You need to train yourself to wait for the hand, especially when shooting in low light situations.
01-18-2010, 10:20 PM   #11
Damn Brit
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QuoteOriginally posted by noblepa Quote

Was SR turned on? If not, you need it on for shots like that. If it was on, she may not have given the SR time to stabilize. There is a little hand icon in the viewfinder that lights up when the camera has stabilized the image. Pentax cameras WILL allow the shutter to be fired without waiting for this. You need to train yourself to wait for the hand, especially when shooting in low light situations.
Even with SR camera shake is still likely at 1/13s, the 50-200 was being used so at a minimum it was 50mm.
01-18-2010, 10:25 PM   #12
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I think that just looks like a longer exposure, and the flash did fire: it can look like that when a shooter isn't expecting the long shutter speed and is actually already moving the camera as though the exposure is done before the shutter closes.

I bet the SR was actually on, just trying to compensate for big movement of one kind or another.
01-18-2010, 10:27 PM   #13
Damn Brit
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This is what happens when not enough information is provided, we go round in circles waiting for the Op to get back to us (no offense, you weren't to know). The answer is here but with about eight too many posts.
01-18-2010, 10:40 PM   #14
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My father-in-law's K-X seems to set these absurdly long shutter speeds when it also chooses to fire the flash in Auto mode. I think the exposure logic is working like Av mode, where it calculates the exposure without flash and then fires the flash anyway. To me it looks like the flash did fire in this shot...

Edit: Oh, I just remembered another important point which is messing up my f-i-l and also his subjects. With redeye reduction on (which I think may be the default), the flash will fire twice, and there is a noticeable delay between the flashes. Often people (either the photographer or the subjects) will start to move after the first flash (there is if I remember correctly, an accompanying sound which sounds like a shutter actuation) and this movement screws up the second shot. With human subjects, it happened everytime I saw my f-i-l try to take a photo of someone until I turned redeye reduction off for him. This may or may not apply to this shot, but it's something to keep in mind.

Last edited by heliphoto; 01-18-2010 at 10:45 PM.
01-19-2010, 03:00 AM   #15
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Set the camera mode to "X" (1/180 sec) for your next picture session and drop the ISO to 100 or 200. Set the aperture to around f:5.6 and you'll be in business. The background will look darker, but the dogs will be well exposed and sharp.
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