Shot which could have been better...


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aErOpLaNe

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Apr 23, 2006
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#1
Hello!

Something is not right with this picture, but I just cannot put a finger to it. Is it that the picture is not sharp? Was my hand shaking? I really don't know. Please help me identify what is wrong with this picture.

It just looks... Not right.

Personally, the guy's face doesn't look in focus. Neither does the girl's.


Canon 20D
Tamron 17-50 2.8
Shot at 32mm, 1/50 sec, f2.8
Taken at NUS AS7
 

zaren

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Oct 27, 2003
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#3
the facial expressions here are interesting, however the main subject (the couple) does not stand out in the photo, and the viewer's gaze is inadvertently drawn away by the background. one way to work around the colour cast and underexposed subject is to convert the photo to b&w and increase the contrast so that the main subject stands out more. you could of course achieve better exposure in the first place by dialling in a stop or two of exposure compensation or shoot using fill flash.

e.g. (b&w pic)
 

GavinTing

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Oct 16, 2007
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#4
Try getting a bigger DOF? Its also abit underexposed.. i.e. abit dark.
 

crazyfrog

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Aug 29, 2007
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Hougang
#6
Also, a much tighter crop would help to draw attention to the couple. There is too much unnecessary background that distracts.
 

aErOpLaNe

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Apr 23, 2006
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#7
wildstallion: i focused on her face, but ends up his face doesn't look too sharp. don't know why. colour temperature on the camera is a default 5200K. should i play around with that?

zaren & crazyfrog: yes i should have cropped the photo abit more so cut out the background

zaren: as for converting to b&w and upping the contrast, would that be done as part of post-processing using s/w like photoshop? or you meant upping the contrast at the point the picture was snapped? also, as i don't have a flash, could i use the built-in flash to fill-in, or would that be even worse?

gavinting: bigger DOF as in, use smaller aperture? f2.8 is the biggest my lens can provide. any smaller and it'd be utterly underexposed... =( i didn't want to up the ISO any more because ISO already at 400. should i try ISO 800 next time?

dw8888: i used manual mode. i used the built in exposure meter as a gauge. was that a bad call?
 

eikin

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Apr 27, 2004
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#10
zaren: as for converting to b&w and upping the contrast, would that be done as part of post-processing using s/w like photoshop? or you meant upping the contrast at the point the picture was snapped? also, as i don't have a flash, could i use the built-in flash to fill-in, or would that be even worse?

gavinting: bigger DOF as in, use smaller aperture? f2.8 is the biggest my lens can provide. any smaller and it'd be utterly underexposed... =( i didn't want to up the ISO any more because ISO already at 400. should i try ISO 800 next time?
i think here's a classic example of subjects against a bright background. i.e. you need to ''light up'' the people either by filling in with a flash or overexpose the background to get them in better exposure if you choose not to use a flash.

anyway, i think you should use spot metering to meter your subjects so that the picture exposes for your subjects instead of the bright background.

keep your aperture slightly smaller as f2.8 might be giving you too thin a DOF.

if there's insufficient shutter speed to cancel your hand movement, up the iso.

if you think the iso is already too high and the picture will get too grainy, use a flash.

when using a flash, you should still keep a setting that exposes the background reasonably to prevent a ''black hole'' in the background.

if you have an external flash unit, as this seems to be indoors, try to bounce the light off the ceiling (if it's not too high) or nearby walls to give you a better 3 dimensional lighting

if you don't have an external flash unit, and thinks your pop-up flash is giving you a harsh light, bring along a translucent piece of paper that can be fixed onto your pop-up flash easily to soften the light.
 

Jun 7, 2007
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#11
it is obvious the metering is on the background.

the lighting on the background and foreground are many stops apart.

the background is properly exposed, but the foreground is not.

the only way to hold detail for both backgound and foreground is to match(increase) the lighting of the foreground to the background.

in this photo, the background is not important (messy). you should take the metering(manual mode) for the subjects only and let the background be dark.

"dw8888: i used manual mode. i used the built in exposure meter as a gauge. was that a bad call?"

the metering in manual and non-manual mode is different.

using manual mode is a bad call for you, not me. however, you will learn more with manual mode(control).

focusing is another problem. but exposure is so much worse.

always notice difference in light level.
 

ahbian

Senior Member
May 23, 2006
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#12
Hand shake varies from person to person, 32mm at 1/50s can be manageable for most.

Maybe I add something here that isn't really technical.
From your posts, I gather that
1) You do not wish for ISO to be too high
2) You are afraid that flash will ruined the shot,
Why didn't you consider taking the shot at a place with better light conditions then, since the current background is distracts rather than add value?
 

ahbian

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May 23, 2006
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#13
it is obvious the metering is on the background.
in this photo, the background is not important (messy). you should take the metering for the subjects only and let the background be dark.

always notice difference in light level.
I'm confused, shouldn't it be that the background becomes overexposed rather then becoming dark?
 

catchlights

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Sep 27, 2004
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#14
use flash next time,

this is a classical die die must shoot with available light with lens wide open, but don't know when is the right situation scenario.

best camera and lens will not help you with this, learn more about the basic photography, if you want to shoot with available light only.
 

zaren

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Oct 27, 2003
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#15
zaren: as for converting to b&w and upping the contrast, would that be done as part of post-processing using s/w like photoshop? or you meant upping the contrast at the point the picture was snapped? also, as i don't have a flash, could i use the built-in flash to fill-in, or would that be even worse?
using a flash (built-in or external) to fill-in would be much better here, not only to properly expose the couple's faces, but also to get a sharper focus and image of their faces.
 

catchlights

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#16
I'm confused, shouldn't it be that the background becomes overexposed rather then becoming dark?
obviously the light outside is very much brighter, if you want to expose the human face correctly, the background will definitely overexpose, either you let it overexposed or use flash.
 

ahbian

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May 23, 2006
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#17
obviously the light outside is very much brighter, if you want to expose the human face correctly, the background will definitely overexpose, either you let it overexposed or use flash.
That was my impression, I was asking because that previous post mentioned keeping the background dark with the people properly exposed. Perhaps it meant to use flash
 

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