Shop Amazon's Best Sellers in Camera & Photo
Back Modifications (6)
Views 57 Unique 32 Award Shortlist   


By Relic01  
I was out for a walk along the trails again when I happened upon Tom. Walked past and determined if he was still there upon my return, I would ask if he would let me take his picture. He is a local homeless man, I find his life etched into his face.
Shot on manual, 1/50s, f5.2,0.0 ev, ISO 200, 18.8mm. I couldn't brighten his right side of his face so I used backlight and autolevel to balance. Handheld.

Tags: General Portraits and people



tonyguitar 11 77 37 Canada
27 Aug 2015 5:28AM
Tom's eyes kept following me around from the thumbnail so I'm going to say he is not one who I choose to speak with but must give you credit for a haunting portrait. You probably will not get many comments but this is well done. TG
dudler Plus
19 2.0k 1998 England
27 Aug 2015 8:22AM
There's so much character in Tom's face...

And so much sadness.

There are some technical problems showing up again, I'm afraid: I hope they are simply to do with low light, and the consequent wide aperture and slow shutter speed. Raising the ISO would have been a really good idea.

Tom's face is out of focus - whether this is because he leaned forwards as you pressed the shutter release, or you were working closer than your minimum focus distance, I'm not sure. But his hair and jacket are far sharper than his eyes. (And it may be the shutter delay that you've mentioned before causing the problem. 'Hold it!' is a phrase you need with some compacts...)

The lighting was good, coming from the side and showing up al lthe textures. I shall try a mono conversion to emphasise the cragginess.

And I hope you get a chance to revisit Tom as a subject...
dudler Plus
19 2.0k 1998 England
27 Aug 2015 8:32AM
An extra thought. This is very underexposed in the original version that you posted.

I suggest, for out-and-about pictures, where you are under pressure to get it right at the time, that you use autoexposure, at least for the moment. Practice manual exposure on shots that are repeatable, when you have time to play with the settings before using the technique 'live'.

To expose really well, you need to understand what correct exposure is: there's no virtue in using manual and simply following the camera's guidance in the viewfinder.

Once you understand the principles well, you will be able to use both manual and (possibly surprisingly) auto settings with considerable confidence...
Relic01 11 8 Canada
27 Aug 2015 11:03AM
Good Morning!
TonyG-Thank you, I'm glad you like it. I have passed him so many times before, we also nod/grunt a hello but this time I determined to ask. Glad i did.
John-I appreciate the comments and yes, I know the exposure triangle (what it is anyway). I did have a thought mid-way that i should up the ISO (that would increase the sensitivity to light correct?) which would, in hindsight, have allowed for a higher shutter speed. And yes, I did watch the histogram and exposure meter as guides. The focus may have been shake or low shutter speed, or this frustrating shutter delay.
I suspect I will run into Tom again, perhaps he will permit another shot at it. I will hopefully have my tripod wth me also.
banehawi Plus
18 2.9k 4345 Canada
27 Aug 2015 7:29PM
Its great you uploaded that second shot, as it makes it much easier to explaing a few things.

Shot 1, soft, blurry in many places, except the right side of his hair, and part of the CAW jacket.

Shot 2, crisp, sharp, well focused,

Now for the lesson part. The better of the shits is shot 2 obviously; the difference in settings is that shot 1 has a much faster shutter speed. at 1/50, whichke shot 2 is MUCH slower at 1/14th; BOTH have precisely the same other settings. So, considering that its likely shot 1 didnt have a fast enough shutter speed, why is shot 2 sharp, with a slower shutter, - you would expect it to be worse, right?

The difference is clear when you compare the two; in shot2, he is leaning his head on his hand, shicj is probably supported on a bench or similar, so HE is rock steady. You chances of a good shot are vastly improved; in shot 1, he is most likely moving, eben a smal amount, and the image stabilization your camera has will have no effect at all on the subjects movements, only yours; so in shot 2, the stabilization if working well, and the subjects is not moving. Thats the formula for a good shot, - its that simple.

Mods of both show the huge difference between him steady, and not steady.


Relic01 11 8 Canada
27 Aug 2015 7:59PM
Great explanation Willie, thank you.
Relic01 11 8 Canada
28 Aug 2015 12:50AM
John, Willie-I have been thinking on your comments and observations and I can see the benefit of shooting on auto during my walk abouts. I am however, determined to understand all that I can and be thoughtful about what I do. I understand the concept of the exposure triangle, shutter speed, aperture and ISO. I have a basic understanding of their relationship. Would shot one have benefited from an ISO of 400 instead of 200 if all other settings remained the same? My thinking is this-the light was duller than usual due to clouds but with brightness from the side, Tom was in a lightly shadowed area, a higher ISO would mean a higher sensitivity to light than at 200, therefor the image would have been 'brighter". I shy away from higher ISO out of desire to limit visual noise but perhaps I am being to rigid. AM I close?
paulbroad 15 131 1294 United Kingdom
28 Aug 2015 2:34PM
You hav tocrack this focus issue. You are getting some potentially fine images now but rining them with blur. Sorry to be abrupt, but there is a srious issue. The hair on the right is quite sharp, the hair at the top is reaonable and the zip lookssharp but the face is way off.

I think there is both movement, subject in thiscase and focus issues.Is there a camera fault? Shoot an image of a flat wall with detailed wall paper. Camera on a tripod, focus manually. Is the frame sharp side to side. It should be!

You need to us a fast enough shutter speed to freeze both subject and amera movementand you must relate that to focal length and ISO.

Until you master and/or correct this issue, you cannot progress.

Relic01 11 8 Canada
28 Aug 2015 2:49PM
Paul- I posted 2 "equipment check" groups. They appear sharp.
Relic01 11 8 Canada
28 Aug 2015 3:39PM
A poor workman blames his tools and a poorer one never learns to use them. That being said, I just looked at the AF mode on my camera and it was on "area", I have changed it to "center" and will see if that makes a difference.

Sign In

You must be a member to leave a comment.

ePHOTOzine, the web's friendliest photography community.

Join For Free

Upload photos, chat with photographers, win prizes and much more.