Re: Re: Lesson 3

Duncan Rawlinson

Hi Richard,

Thanks for submitting your assignment. I edited your post so that both images are on the same page. Both of your images meet the requirements of the assignment but there is always room for improvement.

In your image of the lady you have achieved the required depth of field. However the idea is to not only take a photo that meets the requirements but also take a nice image.

In this case the photo suffers from a few beginner mistakes. For one the subject is in the center of the frame. There will be more on composition later in the course but as a general rule it’s almost never good to have the most interesting element of your photograph in the center of the frame. You will learn more about the rule of thirds but just remember that the center of the frame is almost like a dead zone. Things right in the center of photographs are almost always less interesting than other spots in the frame.

Also another thing people do when they are starting out and trying to take better photos is that they only look at the foreground. In this case the woman is in good focus and looks fine, the problem is that there is something in the background that looks like it’s going right through her head. I believe it’s someone swimming on an inflatable or something. Whatever the case may be, it’s distracting and will always take away from your image. The best way to fix this is to always take a quick scan of your background whenever you are shooting. That way you won’t have this problem.

Now, the goal of this part of the assignment is to see if you can create shallow depth of field. It looks like you’ve done this by shooting about a 200mm lens at 2.8 so that’s great. Understanding depth of field and controlling it will really enhance your photography.

Another thing to notice in this photograph is that even though it may look in focus, when you look at the image at 100% scale it’s in fact out of focus. This has to do with something called the circles of confusion but it’s a boring topic. Just be aware that sometimes when you look at an image on a small screen they may appear to be in focus but when you go to print them out or blow them up they might actually be out of focus. In this image it’s probably because the subject was walking toward you and there was a delay in the autofocus from when you pressed the shutter button… One way of fixing this is to use your cameras servo or continuous focus mode. Most modern DSLRs have a mode where the camera will continually focus until the exact moment you push the button and actually take the photo. This is good for situations where the movement is so fast you’d have a hard time focusing manually.

In your second image you have shown that you can show motion using a slower shutter speed. I can see that the water is flowing here so you’ve done well! There are only a couple things you can do to enhance this image. First you’ll notice the image is a bit blurry. This is from camera shake. Camera shake is basically when you camera moves while the camera is taking your photo. If the shutter is open and light is hitting your sensor your camera should be as still as possible. This is especially true for images like this. Putting your camera on a tripod and using a shutter release cable is one way to fix this. Another way (which is a bit of a cheat) is to use a higher ISO although this introduces quite a bit of noise to your image.

Second, take note how the image is quite blue. This is because the automatic white balance on your camera can’t figure out what color the light is in the frame so it’s taking it’s best guess. Our brains are very very good at figuring out what color things are. Your camera is not so smart it has no idea what color things are. White balance is how you tell your camera what kind of light you are shooting in. For example if you’re inside and there is incandescent lamps you would set your white balance the little light bulb icon. Each camera is different but the concept is the same across cameras…

So when you see the color of an image like this and it looks a bit off, it’s usually white balance. Try to play with your white balance setting. Take the same picture using different white balance modes and you will see how important the setting is. Automatic white balance on most cameras is really good these days but using white balance properly and eventually creatively will really enhance your images.

Nice work here. Keep working on these techniques and practicing. 😀