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scott630
02-07-2008, 03:58 PM
Here is a pic of my new 8 week german shepherd. I think it looks good,but
I'm still new at this. Any comments on what you like or dislike of the
pic. I did have to lighten it up.
Sony A100 w/Tamron 17-50 f2.8

DonSchap
02-07-2008, 04:44 PM
Here is a pic of my new 8 week german shepherd. I think it looks good,but
I'm still new at this. Any comments on what you like or dislike of the
pic. I did have to lighten it up.
Sony α100 w/Tamron 17-50 f2.8

Okay, Scott ... the thing about "Shutter-Priority" type shots is ... that once you are at max aperture of the lens (in this case, f/2.8), the aperture simply cannot get any wider. No matter how much you ramp up the speed ... you are always at MAX aperture.

Did you check your metering to see what it was reading?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
100 __ 2.8 __-2 . . 1 . . 0 . . 1 . . 2+

I'm betting that (because you have stated that the exposure was dark and you had to lighten it up) the camera's internal meter looked more like this:

. . . . . . . . . . . . . .|
100 __>2.8<__ -2 . . 1 . . 0 . . 1 . . 2+

And here you're thinking ... man, it's in 'shutter-priority' ... what can go wrong?

Just to prove it ...

turn on the α100
set the mode switch to "S"
set your shutter speed to 1-second (1")
if you are indoors, the aperture should be some higher value (f/7.1 or something near that)
start to decrease the shutter-speed (going faster) in progressive steps until the aperture indicates f/2.8.
take it one shutter-speed faster ... and the aperture indicator will start to >blink<. This is your visual warning or cue that you are at MAX-aperture for the lens or the selected focal length (depending on the lens). The aperture can no longer adjust for your selected speed, based on the current lighting conditions being metered. You can still take the shot ... but now, the exposure is off, according to the internal metering of the camera.


This is what I think may have happened with the original image of "Montana", there.

Now remember, as you turn the lens toward a light source or a brighter lit area, the metering will change ... and suddenly, when the camera detects the "correct" exposure settings match, the aperture indicator will quit flashing and then the aperture indicator will begin to increase, auto-magically, to properly compensate for the light, at that specified shutter speed.

scott630
02-07-2008, 05:45 PM
you are right Don, I never even checked the metering. thanks for the
little test.

DonSchap
02-08-2008, 12:01 AM
Metering is critical to most shots, but you often find yourself so caught up in composing the image in the viewfinder ... and allowing to camera to auto-0magically compensate in these modes ... you tend to forget their limitations and to look at the meter. It is always working. And, if you look at the right side of the meter scale, you will see a progressive bar-graph (like on your cellphone) from which you can also tell how much of a strain you are putting on the "Super SteadyShot™." This is a real handy indicator at the slower shutter-speeds (1/15 - 1/80) or using telephoto lenses (100mm - 500mm).

I tossed the own TAMRON 17-50mm on my α700 and candidly took this ... from my desk clock:

33042
EXIF: 50mm - f/2.8 - 1/4 sec - ISO-400 - WB=Tungsten - SSS handheld - Ambient light - Distance: 3 feet

I did this so you could take note of the f/2.8 bokeh effect on the background ... about two feet behind the clock. The closer you get to "Montana" for a focus, the more pronounced this blurring effect will becomes, at f/2.8 aperture. It tends to make for a nicer portrait.

Raise your hand, if you agree ...

33043

scott630
02-08-2008, 06:03 PM
so the exposure metering is just a visual gage to help
set speed?

DonSchap
02-08-2008, 06:31 PM
Well .. kind of. You normally use Speed-priority for action shots ... where something is moving and you need to reduce the motion blur or FREEZE the subject.

On the other hand, Aperture-priority is used where you determine the "kind" of image you want ... with excessive blurring of focus around your subject ... or not. If you are shooting the length of a car, let's say, you want your aperture at roughly f/11 or higher (going towards f/22) so that the front of the car, the middle and the rear are all in focus. This is called a deep Depth of Field (DOF). You are the one who should control that ... with using A-priority Mode on your camera. If you were to shoot the car at, say, f/2.8 ... only the car door handle will be in focus and the other ends of the vehicle ... well, not. :rolleyes:

As you can probably see ... if your aperture is constantly changing by using the S-mode ... your nice image of that same car could be in jeopardy. Yes, the exposure will be right, because you adjusted your shutter-speed and metered to zero ... but chances are ... you are way below the desired f/11 in Aperture. Therefore, the DOF is very shallow ... and only the center part of the vehicle will be sharp.

Basically, the meter normally tells you if you are off-exposure, based on the type of metering mode you choose. It will not offer focal assistance. That's your job. Let's look at the available metering modes:

There are:
Multi-segment - This divides the whole screen into 40 segments to measure light (40-segment honeycomb pattern metering)
Center-weighted - While emphasizing the center area of the screen, this mode measures the average brightness of the entire screen. If you shoot directly into the sun light or the subject is not in the center of the image, you must use exposure compensation.
Spot - This mode measures light only in the spot metering circle in the center of the frame. This is suitable for shooting a subject with strong contrast or measuring the light of a specific area on the screen. If the area to be measured is not in the center of the screen, use AE Lock to take the picture


The point is ... the only way to be sure you are not in some off-the-mark lighting situation is to read the meter. It should read zero most of the time, if you've got it right. If you are in S-Mode and have set your desired speed (whaterever it is) into the camera, then you are going to have to hunt for light to get it there, because the aperture is going to close or open up with the light ... until it simply cannot widen any more.

In the S-mode or A-mode .. the meter is your best guide to proper exposure.

In Manual-mode ... you decide how to get the meter to zero ... by adjusting everything ... Aperture, Shutter-speed and ISO. They all play their part ... for proper exposure. Exposure compensation(EC) is another shortcut to quickly adjusting the camera for a good meter reading.

Remember, if anything, to expose "to the right."

. . . . . . . . . . .|
-2 . . 1 . . 0 . . 1 . . 2+

It's better to have a little more light, than not enough. Post-processing software will compensate for overexposure ... but, it will only help show "the noise" for an underexposure, as you try to save it.

scott630
02-08-2008, 06:50 PM
Thanks, one really never knows how much of an
art it takes to make that perfect picture until one
picks up a slr. it truly is a skill. Thanks once again
for explaining the things you do.

DonSchap
02-08-2008, 07:00 PM
Well ... there's more to photography than just tripping the shutter.

Who knew? :)

DonSchap
02-09-2008, 09:22 PM
I took the liberty of a crop and a slight manipulation of the lighting. Just to trial it.

Original
33081

Post processing & crop
33082

scott630
02-09-2008, 09:43 PM
how would this pic look in B&W? Sorry, I don't know how to
switch it since I just shot in JPEG and not RAW. I'm using
the software that came with the A100

DonSchap
02-10-2008, 12:28 AM
how would this pic look in B&W?

It would probably look a lot like this:

33089 33090

But don't take my word for it. LOL :D

scott630
02-10-2008, 06:08 AM
is it just me or does the B&W draw you towards her eyes. Thanks for the B&W. sould I upgrade the software? or stick with the sony?

DonSchap
02-10-2008, 08:31 AM
For better control of B&W toning from color ... you are probably going to need to go to Photoshop CS3. It has a special adjustment layer that allows for more control over B&W shots ... here's a sample of the difference


The first image is a desaturated color image ... the second with the new CS3 B&W filtering by color:


DESATURATED . . . . . . . . . B&W tone control
33099 33100


In the above: You can see, by reducing the green tones of the grass and varying the yellow and cyan .. we get a contrast shift ... and she stands out against the background better. Adjusting red ... her paw picks loses some contrast and looks more defined in the lighter areas. It's subtle, but makes for a more "balanced" exposure appearance.

THE CONTROL PANEL

33101

ABOVE: You have sliders available to control the six colors (RED, GREEN, BLUE, YELLOW, CYAN & MAGENTA) involved in the shot, where with standard desaturation ... it drains all the colors equally, with no selective control.

BELOW: COLOR SLIDERS AFTER B&W TONAL ADJUSTMENT
33102

scott630
02-10-2008, 08:42 AM
you can definitely see in the second photo she pops out. Guess I know
where my tax money going.

DonSchap
02-10-2008, 09:08 AM
Basically ... it is using the tools to refine your work. It is a rare thing, indeed, to get it all in one shot or without at least some "dark room" touch-up. You ask much.

My feeling is to try and get the "best shot" you can, with what you have ... then work it up a bit in Photoshop to:

clean out defects (color cast corrections, barrel distortions, etc)
item interference (stuff that shouldn't be in the image)
cropping (extra image that serves no "story-telling" purpose)
exposure adjustments (to enhance and refine the light used to describe the subject)


Practice is necessary. You need to inspect and manipulate to an extreme ... use the sliders all the way ... to see what they can do to and for the image ... then back them down to what you want to see. Then do it one more time ... to be sure you have gotten your balanced look.

Anyway ... investing in good software for your camera is essential to producing improved work, digitally. It is your digital "darkroom" ... where the miracles happen. LOL Good luck! :D