A little help with my photos taken. :(


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zhengyank

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Aug 9, 2008
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#1
Hello everyone!

I'm a newbie who have just started out with my first DSLR, Canon EOS 1000D.
Been trying out photography with a friend this past few days and the results were quite bad! :(

I hope seniors out there can give me some pointers on what settings I should use when taking such pictures.

All images below are not edited, just resized.

#1 This was taken at about 6:50pm and was taken with a tripod.



Manual Mode
F-Stop: F/36
Exposure Time: 30 Secs
ISO-Speed: ISO 100
Focal Length: 47mm
Metering Mode: Pattern
White Balance: Auto

The picture looks boring and dull, is there a way to improve the lighting of the overall picture?

#2 This picture was taken at about 7:30pm with a tripod.



Manual Mode
F-Stop: F/8
Exposure Time: 8 Secs
ISO-Speed: ISO 100
Focal Length: 47mm
Metering Mode: Partial
White Balance: Auto

The picture taken is still blur even though a tripod was used and self-timer was used to execute the shutter.

The Fullerton word is blurred and there's this double vision thingy.



Anyone help? :cry:

Thank you all in advance!
 

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#2
I think for the first 2 pictures lower your aperture to about F/8 and also instead of using manual mode, use aperture priority.And also the focal length can be wider. Basically both looked overexposed.

Goodluck bro. ;)
 

J-Chan

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Sep 21, 2005
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#3
the double vision thingy could be somebody accidentally knocked into the tripod, either that or the head is loose and it tilts down on its own weight..
 

zhengyank

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Aug 9, 2008
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#4
I think for the first 2 pictures lower your aperture to about F/8 and also instead of using manual mode, use aperture priority.And also the focal length can be wider. Basically both looked overexposed.

Goodluck bro. ;)
Thanks so much for your quick reply! :D

I heard of this rule called the "88" thingy.
As for focal length to be wider, do you mean to adjust it to be more than 47 or less than?
 

zhengyank

New Member
Aug 9, 2008
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#5
the double vision thingy could be somebody accidentally knocked into the tripod, either that or the head is loose and it tilts down on its own weight..
The tripod was left alone for the 30 sec shot and i took precaution to ensure that it was fasten tightly.

I realise that most of the time the double vision thingy appears when i use long exposure like 30secs. However, the pictures taken with 8 sec exposure looks a little better.



I was just playing around with the setting to get this.
Any suggestions to improve the picture?

Manual Mode
F-Stop: F/8
Exposure Time: 8 Secs
ISO-Speed: ISO 100
Focal Length: 47mm
Metering Mode: Partial
White Balance: Manual

Thanks!
 

catchlights

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Sep 27, 2004
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#6
you need to stabilize your tripod, hand your camera bag on it.

make sure all knots are tighten,

get a spit level

remove your lens filter

use a lens shade, if don't have, get something to shield the lens, prevent street lamp or any stray lights shine on the lens

6.30pm is too early, 7.20~7.40pm is a good time

stick to manual mode, take a few more frames with different exposure (length of time)

try use cooler WB (3400~4500 kevin), so the sky will be bluer.
 

Octarine

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Jan 3, 2008
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#7
First, make yourself familiar with photographic terms and the meaning / influence on pictures. Using manual mode as a beginner is not really advisable, unless you intend to learn the really hard way. Read the camera manual, read the Photography Notes for Newbies, go out during day time and use P, Av and Tv mode of your cam. The twilight hours are much more difficult to master.
#1: over exposed, slanted horizon, star effects due to extreme small aperture, white balance far off
If you want to capture the city lights at night you want to wait another hour at least. Lights are better taken against a dark sky.
#2: basically the same as #1 except the star effects - you see that f/8 is a much better choice. In addition, the dark sky brings out the office towers much better.
The human eye has a much higher dynamic range than any sensor. We can see the bright lights next to dark areas and still we notice details. Camera sensors don't have this possibility (yet). If you have bright lights together with less brighter ones you'll end up having one of them not correctly exposed. 2nd pic is a good example: lights at the bridge are overexposed when the lights of the office towers are quite well captured.
Metering at night is also difficult. Cameras get easily fooled by darkness and tend to overexpose heavily although there are brighter lights in the frame. Have you checked the exposure with the metering in the cam? When the meter shows "0" it's usually too much. My experience is to have at least EV of -1, if not even lower.
How have you adjusted the white balance in the 3rd pic? "Manual" just says that you haven't used any preset, but what was your reference?
 

liarliar

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May 13, 2007
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#8
If your cannon has some form of image stabilization in body or build in lens please disable it whenever you take shots on tripod mount.

Use timer instead of pressing the shutter imediately to capture your long exposure triopd mounted shots.

Use a sturdy tripod. I recommended trusted manufacturers with weight over 1 kg for DSLR with kit lens minimum. If your tripod not sturdy some wind blowing might cause cam shake unknowlingly to the cameraman.

Focus not locked prior to shots captured.
 

HTCahHTC

Senior Member
May 9, 2008
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#9
set 2 seconds timer for long exposure. and your photos are blur, maybe due to shaking or something.
 

gymak90

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Jan 5, 2008
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#10
1) What kind of tripod are you using?
If your tripod is designed for pns, it might not be able to take the weight of 1000D(even though it's light).
Do the mechanical things: Make sure screws are tightened. Tripod must be on a sturdy surface e.g. floor. Ensure tripod doesn't twitch when there's wind etc.

2) Try again using a shutter release cable or pre-set timer. For the former, you need not press the shutter button on the cam. For the latter, you can press then leave it to stabilise. This elimates potential shake as you press n release the shutter button.
 

night86mare

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Aug 25, 2006
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#11
#1 This was taken at about 6:50pm and was taken with a tripod.
it doesnt' look like you have used a tripod.

so the problem is either that you are not using the self-timer to make sure that your triggering the shutter doesn't result in vibrations, or you are turning your image stabiliser on when shooting on tripod, or your tripod is not eating enough rice, or you are dancing around the tripod when the exposure is going on.

in any case - read up on exposure and composition, look at more photos.

understanding what you are doing is far superior than heading into the fray blindly.
 

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zhengyank

New Member
Aug 9, 2008
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#13
Hi all!

Really thanks for all of your replies!


#1 I was using the tripod that is supplied by Canon.
(Got it as a freebie from Comex fare) It is able to support weights of 1.15kg, so it should'nt be the tripod problem.

#2 When i took the pictures, i did set 2 sec timer before the camera releases the shutter, hence it isn't "me" shaking the camera while taking long exposure shots.

From all of your replies, i think the most likely cause of the blur picture is due to my IS on?

When i took the pictures, my camera did had it's Image Stabiliser ON while mounted on the Tripod.

May i know why it must turned off when mounted?

Thank-You all for your replies, it has benefited me a lot! :D
 

Rashkae

Senior Member
Nov 28, 2005
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#14
Also, be aware that most lenses start to lost sharpness after about f/16 due to diffraction. Shooting at F/32 (your first pic) is a very bad idea.
 

Headshotzx

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Dec 14, 2007
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#15
Hi all!

Really thanks for all of your replies!


#1 I was using the tripod that is supplied by Canon.
(Got it as a freebie from Comex fare) It is able to support weights of 1.15kg, so it should'nt be the tripod problem.

You're wrong. I also used the Canon supplied freebie-tripod at the same place with 400D + 17-40L @ 30secs and I too got lots of those moving lights and stuff. Definitely your tripod.

I find that the freebie tripod isn't stable at all. And if you sit down at the esplanade, you can actually feel just a slight bit of vibrations from the river (or maybe it's just me) but that'll affect the exposure.
 

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Octarine

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Jan 3, 2008
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#17
When i took the pictures, my camera did had it's Image Stabiliser ON while mounted on the Tripod. May i know why it must turned off when mounted?
The tripod is your Image Stabilizer. Switch off what you don't need, IS sucks battery.
I don't know what tripod Canon is giving as freebie ... but usually those freebies are not much worth - in terms of money and in terms of value. Have a look at some tripods in reputable shops (check the Canon equipment section, sticky threads about Canon lenses). You'll see and feel the difference. Alternatively see catchlight's recommendation of using a bag to stabilize your tripod. Hang it in the centre below the cam. Your tripod must be stable and sturdy enough even if there is some wind blowing.
 

Octarine

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#18
And if you sit down at the esplanade, you can actually feel just a slight bit of vibrations from the river (or maybe it's just me) but that'll affect the exposure.
I think it's all this digging in underground and filled land. Sometimes I can feel the ground vibrating when a bus is passing by at junctions far away from any MRT line. A bridge will catch even more vibrations from cars and trucks going over it. Since bridges need to be a bit flexible they will transmit the vibrations to the area around.
 

Headshotzx

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Dec 14, 2007
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#19
I think it's all this digging in underground and filled land. Sometimes I can feel the ground vibrating when a bus is passing by at junctions far away from any MRT line. A bridge will catch even more vibrations from cars and trucks going over it. Since bridges need to be a bit flexible they will transmit the vibrations to the area around.
Good observation, but I was shooting from the Esplanade side. The underground digging still makes sense though. It definitely threw my exposures off.
 

jmmtn4aj

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Jan 1, 2007
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#20
f/8? I haven't picked up the camera in a looong time but aren't 30-1 minute exposures usually done at f/11 or so?

Anyway your pictures show obvious motion blur and overexposure. If your camera offers a mirror-up-mode, use that.
 

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