Nikon D40 clear photos.

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Krafty, Nov 11, 2008.

  1. Krafty macrumors 601

    Krafty

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    La La Land
    #1
    What settings would I have to use? I had it for a few weeks so I'm getting the hang of it, but so far I'm going to shoot portraits in ISO 200 + RAW format. I need it so its crystal clear, is there anything else I need to change?
     
  2. wheelhot macrumors 68000

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    Nov 23, 2007
    #2
    Erm, yeah, that's pretty much it unless if you are really fussy (I doubt you will need this much), get better lens (providing you are using standard kit lens). Is the lighting good?
     
  3. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    #3
    Setting? Well first and foremost pay close attention to focus. For people and animas focus on the eyes. Not the nose or forehead, the eyes. If you simply aim the camera in the general direction and let it auto focus you don't really know what it is doing. So pay attention and work carefully. You may want to work from a tripod. This not many eliminate blur from camera shake but allows you to make fine adjustments to the camera location and aim point. Then you look, think and fine tune.

    Give the subject some distance, use about the 50mm setting on the zoom and frame the scene by moving the tripod back and forward. Shoot with the aperture wide open and you might be able to reduce the depth of field a little. But likely you will need to have the subject far from any background, at least as far from the background at the camera to subject distance. Think about the lightness or darkness of the background relative the the subject's skin and hair color. Adjust the background lightness/darkness with lighting

    Next is lighting. You want even, soft and low contrast lighting. Direct sunlight from a blue sky is the worst so is a directly aimed flash. So a window for light and hang a white sheet to act as a reflector. Lighting is important because the digital camera can only handle a small range in brightness, both shadows and highlights must fall inside this narrow range. The camera has a histogram display, take some test shots and look at the display. Your avatar is a good example of low contrast lighting. Notice there is good color and detail on both the lit and shadow sides of the face and the light is from a defuse, soft source.

    If you have some money to spend you might look into what lens would be best. Your D40 will not auto focus some of the better fast primes. But if working with a cooperative subject and a tripod manual focus is easy. There are some f/2.8 zooms that would work well with your camera too. But mostly just worry about focus and lighting. The quality of the lens is not a big issue compared to focus and light

    That's just some of the technical stuff. The other is things like getting a good expression, pose and background I'll leave to you. Just look at portraits you like and attempt to replicate the style.
     
  4. Krafty thread starter macrumors 601

    Krafty

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    #4
    Thanks for the insight, I ask this because I notice sometimes the full view of images are kind grainy have have some noise, and I want to make some crystal clear photos for this project.
     
  5. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    #5
    Noise comes from a couple of sources, the higher you set the ISO, the more noise you're going to have. The more you underexpose the picture the more noise you're going to have, and finally the longer the exposure, the more noise you're going to have. For portraits, you're not going to have a long exposure problem, but you may have high-ISO problems if you're not lighting the scene yourself and you're not taking shots in a well-lit area. If you don't set exposure properly, then you'll have noise in under-exposed areas. You'll also get a lack of clarity from a dirty sensor or lens- and finally, from pixel peeping the shots- if you really want to evaluate a shot, print it out, as that'll give the best indication of image quality.
     
  6. mknawabi macrumors 6502

    mknawabi

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    Irvine, CA
    #6
    Get your ISO up to a point where you can overexpose 1/3rd of a stop while your lens is stopped down to at least f/4. This way, you can get good DOF, while maintaining a high amount of detail and sharpness.

    Also, lean your arm on something stable, like a wall or a table. Get as steady as you can.
     
  7. jhamerphoto macrumors regular

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    Oct 26, 2007
    #7
    This isn't really for sharpness, and it's pretty obvious, but make sure your camera's colour space is set to Adobe RGB 1998, or just Adobe RGB if the D40 has that option.

    Also, just as portrait pointers, it's a good idea to shoot from slightly above the subject so they look up a tiny bit, getting rid of any bit of double chin or just roundness of the face. Lastly, try to shoot at at least 50mm, as anything wide-angle (below 50mm) will give portraits an unflattering perspective.
     
  8. svndmvn Guest

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    Italy
    #9
    they look pretty good..the pictures:)
    You satisfied?
     
  9. Krafty thread starter macrumors 601

    Krafty

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    #10
    Very, Im going to try to get a few more today and throughout the week since its my favorite time of year.
     
  10. svndmvn Guest

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    #11
    I'd also recommend experimenting using some fill flash for the person/subject and finding the right exposure for the background to be in focus,as well,if you wish..
     
  11. djbahdow01 macrumors 6502a

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    Northeast, CT
    #12
    Fill Flash, your images lack POP. They are good in context, but the faces need some more pop. The on camera flash would help but the SB-400, SB-600, or SB-800 would help out even more.
     
  12. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    #13
    If that is your only problem just mae sure you have enough light, expose as much as you can without blowing highlights. Later on you can apply an anti=noise filter in post preoceesing but they do kill detail. But a god trick is to us a mask in Photoshop, then in the parts of the image that or out of focaus or have big areas of little details, like the sky you can seriously crank up the anti-noise and apply at not so heavy filter in the areas where you want details to remain. I've gone so far as to apply a heavy Gaussian blur to the sky. Heavy blur will kill any noise 100%.

    I gues what I'm sayig is that there is not "best" anti-noise technique so apply different technique in different part of the image. Use a mask with feathered edges to do this
     
  13. Krafty thread starter macrumors 601

    Krafty

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    #14
    [​IMG]

    Something tells me I should have focused a little more on the body, but overall I was pretty satisfied, I took about 4.
     
  14. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    #15
    Both Irenes really could use some fill flash or a reflector. The first Irene, you really want to give a human/animal subject more "space" to "look into" than space behind them unless you're trying to impart some sort of crowding message. If you're unsure, portraits tend to be better in "portrait" mode unless you have something like the billboard in the first picture or are using the vast space to say something about the subject.

    Women shot from low evoke power, but I find that females generally don't like seeing up their nostrils in shots. If you shoot from above, for most women, a little white under the iris looks good.
     
  15. Krafty thread starter macrumors 601

    Krafty

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  16. svndmvn Guest

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    #17
    it is good but I personally think it would look better with a larger aperture, and a faster lens or something, shallower DOF for portraits, but that's my taste
     
  17. Krafty thread starter macrumors 601

    Krafty

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    #18
    I wanted more focus on the subject than the background for that one.
     
  18. svndmvn Guest

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    #19
    I know, that's what I meant,I really like a more extreme contrast between the focused and the out of focus, that's why, if I'm not mistaking, a larger aperture and a faster lens would simply allow more light to get to your sensor in "less time" and therefore giving you a sharper focused image and shallower DOF, blurrier background, more "bokeh"?
     
  19. anubis macrumors 6502a

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    Feb 7, 2003
    #20
    If you're REALLY worried about noise, you could shoot in your lowest ISO setting and then use Noise Ninja to remove any residual noise... but really, at that point, your image quality is going to be limited WAY more by your lenses PSF (point spread function) and MTF (modulation transfer function) than luminance or chromatic noise.

    Lowest ISO possible, use a tripod, use the fastest shutter speed possible, and use your camera's mirror lock option (if it has one).
     
  20. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    #21
    It could still stand some fill flash to take the zombie look from her eye sockets and to provide catchlights for the eyes- and a smile would go a long way as well. It's not a bad picture- so don't let the criticism discourage you, it's just that it's got potential to be a great picture instead of just a good one.
     
  21. whoathere macrumors 6502

    whoathere

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    Rockford, IL
    #22
    Interesting. I recently got a D40 as well, so will be taking these comments into consideration. I've been checking fredmiranda quite a bit for an SB 600, the 800 is too much for me, for the ````````price and my expertise.

    To the OP, good photo's. Hope the project turns out great!
     
  22. Krafty thread starter macrumors 601

    Krafty

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    #23
    I shot near the highest aperture I think.
    So what settings should I be changing?
    Thanks.
     
  23. neutrino23 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2003
    Location:
    SF Bay area
    #24
    An inexpensive accessory is simply a large piece of white foam board you can get from a craft store. Hold it up near the model to light them with a diffuse light. You could also try one covered with some crinkly aluminum foil. You can also fashion a gadget over your flash so that it imparts a soft light. You can also get a reflector for the flash to provide indirect light.

    I shoot mostly still life. I carry a piece of white paper in my bag. It can make all the difference when shooting something in the shadows.
     
  24. FrankieTDouglas macrumors 65816

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    Mar 10, 2005
    #25
    PS... while good for JPG, RAW files do not have a color space assigned when they come out of the cameras. So even if his camera is set to sRGB, he can reassign the image to Adobe once he pulls it into ACR.
     

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