Lesson 1 Assignment

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  • #31788
    Maggie Dunford
    Participant

    Apple – two perspectives
    9980 – boring simple perspective
    0013 – fresh new perspective (apparently camera decided it doesn’t want to go past 9999 pictures and resets counter – oops 馃槈

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    #31791
    Duncan Rawlinson
    Keymaster

    Hi Maggie,

    Thanks so much for sending in your assignment. I guess I somehow skipped over this one by mistake so this took longer than it should have. Emailing was the best thing to do so thanks for that.

    Onto the assignment.

    Here is the EXIF data for the images:

    http://photographyicon.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/IMG_9980.jpg
    Date Time Original: 2016:03:27 20:30:01
    Exposure Time: 1/60
    F Number: f / 2
    Exposure Program: Not defined
    ISO Speed Ratings: 1250
    Metering Mode: Pattern
    Flash: Flash did not fire, compulsory flash mode
    Focal Length: 50mm
    White Balance: Auto white balance
    Make: Canon
    Model: Canon EOS REBEL T3
    LensInfo: 4
    LensModel: EF50mm f/1.8 II
    LensSerialNumber: 0000000000
    Exif Version:
    Flashpix Version:
    Color Space: 1
    Pixel X Dimension: 4272
    Pixel Y Dimension: 2848
    Maker Note: 770
    User Comment: 8328
    Date Time Digitized: 2016:03:27 20:30:01
    Subsec Time: 02
    Subsec Time Original: 02
    Subsec Time Digitized: 02
    Shutter Speed Value: 6
    Aperture Value: 2
    Focal Plane X Resolution: 4720.44
    Focal Plane Y Resolution: 4786.55
    Focal Plane Resolution Unit: 2
    Custom Rendered: Normal process
    Scene Capture Type: Standard
    InteroperabilityIFDPointer: 8592
    ExifIFDPointer: 208
    Orientation: 1
    YCbCr Positioning: 2
    X Resolution: 72
    Y Resolution: 72
    Resolution Unit: 2
    Date Time: 2016:03:27 20:30:01

    http://photographyicon.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/IMG_0013.jpg
    Date Time Original: 2016:03:27 20:46:52
    Exposure Time: 1/60
    F Number: f / 2
    Exposure Program: Not defined
    ISO Speed Ratings: 800
    Metering Mode: Pattern
    Flash: Flash did not fire, compulsory flash mode
    Focal Length: 50mm
    White Balance: Auto white balance
    Make: Canon
    Model: Canon EOS REBEL T3
    LensInfo: 4
    LensModel: EF50mm f/1.8 II
    LensSerialNumber: 0000000000
    Exif Version:
    Flashpix Version:
    Color Space: 1
    Pixel X Dimension: 4272
    Pixel Y Dimension: 2848
    Maker Note: 5014
    User Comment: 12572
    Date Time Digitized: 2016:03:27 20:46:52
    Subsec Time: 00
    Subsec Time Original: 00
    Subsec Time Digitized: 00
    Shutter Speed Value: 6
    Aperture Value: 2
    Focal Plane X Resolution: 4720.44
    Focal Plane Y Resolution: 4786.55
    Focal Plane Resolution Unit: 2
    Custom Rendered: Normal process
    Scene Capture Type: Standard
    InteroperabilityIFDPointer: 12836
    ExifIFDPointer: 2380
    Orientation: 1
    YCbCr Positioning: 2
    X Resolution: 72
    Y Resolution: 72
    Resolution Unit: 2
    Date Time: 2016:03:27 21:38:27
    Software: Windows Photo Editor 10.0.10011.16384

    Now let get into this.

    For starters I commend you on your choice of a really mundane object. Many students sort of skip that part and just take a picture or something that is already interesting. So I’m glad you challenged yourself here.

    I like what you’ve done here. You’ve done a few things very well. You’ve completely removed everything but the subject of your photo by getting close and using shallow depth of field.

    Whether you did this all intentionally or not is unclear but notice how much more compelling the photo is. It’s the same trivial little apple and all you’ve done is change the way you look at it.

    Notice this. Take a minute and really think about it. Everything can be shot like this. Everything can be photographed from interesting and unique perspectives. Use this as the start of the way you look at the world with your camera.

    Now here are some things you could have done to improve this image.

    The first thing that came to mind when looking at the image was that it appears to be a little blurry or murky. This could be from camera shake, shallow depth of field, your lens’ minimum focus distance, the relatively high ISO. It could also be that you have cropped the image very close. I don’t know.

    What I do know is that if you’re shooting a still life photo like this you have the benefit of no motion. That means you can put your camera on a tripod slow down your shutter speed to nail it a bit better. You could also reduce the ISO and just ISOlate your f-stop to control depth of field. In this case I think F2 is making the depth of field so shallow that not all of your subject is in focus.

    If all of this is too much right now don’t worry. It will all come together through the course!

    I’d like you to try shooting this again on your own time. Not because you didn’t do well here. You did great. I just think this is a good time for some play and experimentation.

    Put your camera in full manual mode and make sure the apple is in range of your lens’ minimum focus distance. If you don’t know what that is you can often look at your lens and look for the distance markers. The shortest distance will be it your minimum. If your lens doesn’t have that you might have to consult your manual.

    Now make sure you’re also shooting at your lowest ISO setting.

    Set your shutter speed for a decent exposure.

    Now try playing around with just your f-stop. if you need to, make a note and write down what you’ve done for each photo.

    Then refer to your notes when you import the photos.

    Basically what I’m saying here is that you would benefit from a little play here. Play in manual and experiment to learn what happens when you ISOlate each setting.

    Another thing I noticed with this image is that the vertical orientation of the image may not be ideal. Perhaps a square aspect ratio would have suited the subject better?

    Most cameras filename systems can only handle the 1-9999 counting so don’t worry about it. What you can do is rename your files on import in Lightroom.

    I have some questions for you, are you shooting RAW? What software do you have on your computer for processing your photographs? How many photos do you think you’ve taken in total?

    Nice work here. I look forward to going through the course with you.

    #31803
    Maggie Dunford
    Participant

    Hi Duncan – thanks for the critique!

    The shallow depth of field was intentional…I seem to be drawn to it. I am looking forward to grabbing my tripod and playing with the manual settings as you suggested – it might be a couple of days but I’ll post a couple shots as a reply to this thread.

    I think the blur and murkiness was likely caused by a bit of camera shake in low light and I was definitely close to the object – I didn’t crop the image much so that’s what I’m thinking. Speaking of cropping, I love your idea of the square aspect ratio and will do that when I play around with it again.

    I don’t import into Lightroom – I do have an old version of Photoshop kicking around somewhere but I haven’t experimented too much with it. So, that said, I don’t process my photos. That’s likely something I should play with instead of just shooting a crazy amount of pictures trying to get the colours and lighting just right. Do you have a software suggestion? I am open to learning if you think it’s worth the time investment. I didn’t know what shooting RAW was until you asked, so I googled it and I don’t think I am (though again I’ll look into that for when I play around next). According to my camera, I’ve taken just over 10,000 pictures but it’s mostly of my two little girls and I tend to take WAY too many shots at a time. It’s just now that I really want to focus on improving my skills and knowledge of photography so I can take the beautiful pictures that I’ve always had a passion for.

    I really look forward to going through this course too, thanks again for the suggestions!

    #31804
    Duncan Rawlinson
    Keymaster

    Hi Maggie,

    Excellent I’m glad the shallow depth of field was intentional! When you play around in manual notice how isolating your fstop changes the depth of field. (try using a ruler or a yardstick in the photo itself if you really want to observe the differences)

    I like your objective of trying to get everyhting right in camera. This is the way to go. I use tools like lightroom to organize my photos and make minor tweaks.

    You should be shooting RAW all the time. Storage and hard drive space is cheap and only getting cheaper. The only time I would advise shooting jpg is if you are in a huge rush (say for news) but even then I would advise shooting in RAW+jpg…

    One easy way to think about RAW is that imagine when you take a photo in RAW mode you are capturing a cube of light. With jpg you would be taking a tiny sliver of that cube of light.

    So yes always shoot raw.

    And yes buy Adobe Lightroom (I would recommend the Photography Plan).

    Here are some resources for Lightroom.

    Don’t worry about taking too many pictures! Worry about taking too few.

    One of the all time greatest photographers Henri Cartier Bresson once said:

    Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst.

    So you’re already way ahead of the game.

    Nice job here and see you on the next assignment.

    #31937
    Maggie Dunford
    Participant

    After playing with my manual mode, using a remote, and adding my beefy flash, here is a second attempt at the Apple photo. I hope you see an improvement. I personally think it looks a lot cleaner, though I would have liked to have centered it more on the table…didn’t notice until I had my camera stuff all packed up :/ And I’m getting sleepy from a long work day SOOOO I hope this will do 馃槈

    I enjoyed playing with the fstop and isolating the different settings. For this shot, I do still prefer a lower fstop from an artistic standpoint, but think this being a bit higher really helped bring more of the apple into focus and gave a crisper image.

    Let me know your thoughts!

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    #31939
    Duncan Rawlinson
    Keymaster

    Oh yes this is indeed much better.

    Notice the slightly larger depth of field here.

    Also notice how much cleaner the image is (less noise at lower ISO)

    Try to remember always shoot at the lowest ISO you can given all else. In other words if you’re shooting something that does not move and you’re on a tripod you should try to shoot as low of an ISO as you possible can. Some cameras even have an ISO 50 setting…

    What’re more for this type of symmetrical still life photograph you really want to take your time to ensure everything is lined up.

    Many cameras will even overlay the rule on thirds on your camera screen. I think this video applies to your camera if not something similar will apply. These grids help for composition and lining things up!

    Overall you’ve done a fantastic job. You are playing around and you have dramatically improved this one photograph just by making a few small changes.

    Did you get yourself a copy of Lightroom yet?

    Well done here

    P.S. Nice usage of the word crisper here too. Nothing like a crisp apple! 馃檪

    #31940
    Maggie Dunford
    Participant

    Thanks for the reponse! Great to know about using the lowest ISO possible….i think mine could get down to 100. I actually put a grid on my camera after I posted the revision. I noticed the grid option when I was checking out changing to RAW images. I like to be precise and I love symmetry so a simple grid makes me very happy!

    I haven’t got lightroom yet but my birthday is coming up in May so i think I’m going to get it for myself as an early present.

    For these assignments, do you recommend we process them as much as we can to create our “best” enhanced photos? If so, I may wait until I get lightroom to do the next assignment. 馃檪

    #31945
    Duncan Rawlinson
    Keymaster

    I actually prefer if you don’t process the photos very much or not at all. In fact if you want you can even send the raw file.

    Also, I would not recommend that you wait to get going on your next assignment. Keep up the momentum and start on your next one as soon as you can. Many people lose the momentum and stop working too early….

    You can get lightroom for a low monthly fee with the creative cloud photography plan.

    https://creative.adobe.com/plans

    #31946
    Maggie Dunford
    Participant

    Perfect – thanks!!!

    #31949
    Duncan Rawlinson
    Keymaster

    馃檪

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