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By myskinnylegs
Camera at ready for this one just by luck.
F6.3 1/40 sec
iso 400
I have not really got to grips with aperture settings etc. but am learning

Tags: Humour and fun

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This photo is here for critique. Please only comment constructively and with suggestions on how to improve it.


User_Removed 10 736 4
13 Oct 2009 1:00AM
If you'd had a wider aperture and a faster shutter speed, you might have frozen her hand rather than blurring it. What puzzles me, though, are the two catchlights in her eyes. Not that this is a bad thing (contrary to some people's opinions) just that I don't see how you got that when you say you don't understand exposure. Was someone else flashing at the same time you took your photo? Nope - that wouldn't work as they are from either side so you either had off camera flash or you were surfing two other peoples' flashes. Don't understand that either as it's not sharp (so it wasn't your flash - so that means two other people taking the same shot if you're not placing reflectors either side). Horizontals also need straightening.

Nice expression on her face.

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AlanWillis 8 67 England
13 Oct 2009 1:04AM
I think it's a super photo
13 Oct 2009 11:27PM
Thank you for comment Janehobson I think the catch lights were possibly a reflection from sunlight (just magnified it) She had bobbed down behind a benchseat and playing peepo at the time looking up to me. She was most reluctant to smile so like i said it was a good catch. I dont really understand about aperture settings and shutter speeds yet (learning though) I just point and shoot and take the best shots out. Thank goodness for digital.

Thank you Alan for your comment too.
camay 11 139 3 England
14 Oct 2009 4:59AM
If you zoom in on her eyes it becomes obvious that the catchlights in her eyes are there because the sun must have been behind you and so what you are seeing is the sky with a sillouhette of you in the centre. The catchlights lift the image up to a higher level, you want to have them if you can. I think it's a lovely image. Not sure about the straightening of the horizontals. You were probably standing at an angle to the bench, the seat is perfectly horizontal which means the back can't be. What you could do is take a horizontal from the back and crop in, that removes the blurred hand. Leave enough of the back of the bench to give some sort of frame though, showing the peepo game.
Thanks Lynne for your comment. Yes I did zoom in and you are correct it is my sillouhette. I could have straightened it but being a novice it was something I didnt take much notice of. I have noted all comments very much appreciated and will learn from them. I will take your advice and crop straight because I do love the photo.
Thankyou Jane
DRicherby 9 269 725 United Kingdom
16 Oct 2009 2:55PM
Apart from the blurred hand, which is easily cropped out, this is a cracking photograph. Great eye contact and interaction between you and Emily and good depth of field to keep her in focus but blur the background.

As has been said, because you're not looking straight at the bench, it's not possible to get both parts horizontal without doing a perspective correction. Everything looks natural, it's not an architectural shot and there's no horizon so it doesn't matter if the camera is dead level or not, as long as it's close enough — which is it.

A quick tutorial on aperture, shutter speed and ISO. I don't know how much you already know so I'll start right at the start. Aperture is the size of the opening through which light strikes the film, with a wider opening letting in more light, of course, but also having effects on depth of field that I'll talk about in a bit. The shutter speed is how long the sensor is exposed to the incoming light. The ISO is the sensitivity of the sensor to incoming light. This gives you three different ways to control the amount of light that hits the sensor while you take a photograph.

Doubling the ISO doubles the sensitivity, which means that the sensor will record the same photograph from only half as much light. The down side is that higher ISO means more noise and a loss of fine detail because the camera's noise-reduction software can't do a perfect job of distinguishing noise from detail. It's worth experimenting with your camera to see how high you can push the ISO before the image gets too noisy for your personal taste; this will vary from person to person and camera to camera.

Shutter speed is, in a sense, the least important of the parameters. Usually, all that matters is that it's fast enough to stop motion blur and camera shake; from that point on, it doesn't much matter how fast the shutter speed is, in most cases — if there's no blur at, say, 1/100s, you'll get much the same photo at 1/200 and double the ISO (half the time, twice the sensitivity = same exposure). The rule of thumb for avoiding camera shake is that the shutter speed should be 1/(focal length) or faster for a hand-held shot; if you have steady hands or you're braced against something, you might be able to do a bit better than that. Again, experiment on non-critical shots to find out.

Aperture is usually the most important parameter. f/4 means that the diameter of the hole the light comes through is one quarter the focal length. It's measured in terms of the focal length so that, say, a 50mm lens and a 100mm lens both let through the same amount of light at the same f-stop. Doubling the width quadruples the area, so going from f/8 to f/4 (diameter doubles from a eighth to a quarter) gives you four times as much light. You get double the light from a 1.4x shift in aperture (because 1.4x1.4=2), which is known as `one stop'. Notice that a wider aperture corresponds to a smaller f-number.

The key thing that aperture controls is depth of field. A wider aperture (smaller f-number) means that out-of-focus light rays can spread over more of the sensor, so they're more blurred. So a wider aperture `magnifies' out of focus effects and gives very shallow depth of field; a narrower aperture gives more depth of field because the slightly out-of-focus rays can't spread out very much so they stay only slightly out of focus. For this reason, I think it's fair to say that most photographers choose the aperture value most of the time, choose the lowest ISO they can get away with (to minimize noise) and let the camera choose the shutter speed — because aperture controls more than just exposure, whereas shutter speed and ISO can be thought of as controlling exposure but having some side-effects.

So, putting this all together... You have a photo at f/6.3 (medium-ish aperture), 1/40s (slowish shutter) and ISO-400 (medium-high sensitivity). It's correctly exposed but motion-blurred because the shutter speed was too slow. We can get the same exposure (same amount of light entering the camera) and the same depth of field by doubling the sensitivity and halving the shutter speed — 1/80s and ISO-800. That would probably be fast enough to cut the blur but maybe the noise is too high at ISO-800. So an alternative would be to make the lens one stop wider, at f/4.5 (6.3 divided by 1.4 is about 4.5), which would again give you correct exposure at 1/80s, ISO-400. Or maybe that still isn't fast enough, in which case you can get 1/160s at f/3.2 and ISO-400, if your lens will go that far, or at f/4.5 and ISO-800 (or maybe even the original f/6.3 at ISO-1600 but that would probably be very noisy). For this shot, I think you could afford to use a wider aperture. That would give less depth of field but, as long as you kept her face in focus, that should be OK. Down at least f/4, I think you'd still have most of her body in focus and the faster shutter would cut the blur on her hand.

Now, don't worry — you don't need to be able to multiply and divide by 1.4 in your head to do this. Most cameras only allow you to adjust the aperture and shutter speed in units of 1/3 of a stop. So a stop is just three clicks of the control wheel or however your camera does the adjustments.

OK, that was rather long. Smile I hope it made some sort of sense. If not, or if you want to know more, I'm happy to take questions.
16 Oct 2009 11:22PM
WOW Thank you DRicherby I didnt realise taking a simple picture and posting it would give me such educational returns.
I will be putting a lot of practise in now, I used to leave my camera on auto and let it do all the work for me but as I have become more brave started fiddling with the controls. Thank you.
Regards Jane

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