The Perfect Shot - Ruined!

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Keleko, Jan 9, 2011.

  1. Keleko macrumors 68000

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    #1
    So, I bet no one else has ever had the perfect shot lined up and ruined it. I must be the first person to have that happen to, right? ;) So I'm gonna share my latest one. I dare you to show your screwups!

    We do a baptism about every quarter at my church, and we have specific church season days we want to have one. Today was the celebration of Jesus' baptism. So today we had the pouring cup in the bowl. I took a shot of it without someone dipping their finger, then I realized the hand in the bowl would be perfect. I asked a friend in line for communion to do it for the picture... and I messed up both exposure and focus. Making it B&W I was able to mostly compensate for the exposure problems in the color version. But the arm and bowl are not in focus, and I can't fix that. Every time I look at it I keep squinting trying to make them go into focus. It almost works as a soft focus B&W, but just not quite enough to my satisfaction.

    [​IMG]
     
  2. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

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    #2
    Actually, I think the arm is in focus, what you're seeing is motion blur. But judging from the hairs on the arm (which are clearly visible), the focal plane is where you wanted it to be. It is blurry, because the shutter speed is too slow. Since the photo no longer contains EXIF data, it's a little hard to tell what your lens was and what shutter speed and aperture you've used.

    In any case, we learn from failure, so don't feel bad about it!
     
  3. Keleko thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #3
    The EXIF is available on Flickr (click on the picture), but you're probably right. It was 1/60th shutter speed, f/2.8 (part of the focus problem, too, I suspect) and ISO 2500. So I probably did get some motion blur on the arm.
     
  4. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

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    #4
    You shot it with a 50 mm lens. As a rule of thumb, you need 1/(focal length x crop factor) s as a shutter speed to avoid motion blur from camera shake. In your case, 1/60 s was just too short (propping up against a column or so helps reduce camera shake). Alternatively, you could have opened the aperture to f/1.8 and (roughly) double the shutter speed.
     
  5. flosseR macrumors 6502a

    flosseR

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    #5
    Well, happens all the time :)

    Mine was with the Stonehenge shot below... the first one was just as awesome.. but had the head of a friggin tourist pop our from behind a stone just that moment i pushed the button
    . I then waited a few minutes to have the japanese group leave and boom the light was gone and it was starting to rain. So I was already mentally starting to remove the head in Photoshop and I was walking back when the clouds broke once more and bathed the stones in amazing light...SNAP.. winner... I guess the moral is: you loose some, you win some.. you will get another chance and then nail it.. :)
     
  6. andiwm2003 macrumors 601

    andiwm2003

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    #6
    I also think it's camera shake. Looks more like it.


    However the calculation is outdated since cameras now have image stabilization. This gives you another factor of 2-3.
     
  7. Keleko thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #7
    I had a very short time to make the picture, since I was also running sound for the service. I just didn't have time to make sure everything was right. I did get a shot without the hand that was more in focus at least. I was afraid to open the aperture any more than f/2.8 because I'd not get enough of the subject in focus then, either.
     
  8. Cliff3 macrumors 65816

    Cliff3

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    #8
    Actually, very few camera bodies have image stabilization. This is a feature typically implemented in the lens. He was shooting with a Canon 50mm f1.8 which does not have it.

    To the OP, I would be inclined to practice your release technique. I took a test shot or two here at home using similar settings (FX sensor - 70mm @ f2.8, 1/40, 3200 ISO) and produced steady, in-focus images.
     
  9. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

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    #9
    According to the EXIF data, the OP has a Canon 60D with a 50 m f/1.8 lens. Neither the body nor the lens feature an image stabilizer.
     
  10. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

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    #10
    That's a very good point.
     
  11. Keleko thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #11
    It very well could have just been me that screwed it up. You can see my other shot of the bowl in the Photo of the Day thread, and it was in focus then. It was also 1/60s and ISO 1000, f/2.8 with 50mm, and the focus was just fine. I'm still wondering if the focal point was just not right, or I moved when taking it. I was very hurried with it.
     
  12. Cliff3 macrumors 65816

    Cliff3

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    #12
    That's what I figured after your previous post. Sports teams drill so that certain behaviors become automatic when the chips are down and people are too busy reacting to think. That sort of training is applicable to many endeavors.
     
  13. Keleko thread starter macrumors 68000

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  14. Joem48 macrumors newbie

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    #14
    There is this little known invention used to steady shots. It's called

    a TRIPOD.:D

    joe
     
  15. Keleko thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #15
    Tripod usage is not allowed during church service. I didn't have time to set it up in any case.
     
  16. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

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    #16
    And a tripod can be very cumbersome if you want to change perspective. A monopod is more mobile, but even then, since 50 mm is not extremely long, you can expect to get reasonable handheld shots if the lighting is ok. Judging from the EXIF data, that was the case.
     
  17. CrackedButter macrumors 68040

    CrackedButter

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    #17
    I don't want to be too critical, but I think I have to be.

    Both of those shots are not that interesting, even if the first one came out right.

    With the first shot you needed to get closer and shoot from above, play with the shape of the bowl when composing. That way you can capture the ripple in the water. But if you're going to shoot from the angle you did. I think a cleaner composition can be entertained by using the table to run along the bottom of the image, make it part of the bottom frame. The bottom right hand corner is awkward for it. Here is what I mean with the edit made.

    In the second image, why are you shooting behind a persons head. I see no emotion from the old lady and the baby you're directing our attention towards is obscured by its own hand.
     

    Attached Files:

  18. davegregory macrumors regular

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    #18
    I have to agree with CrackedButter, the shots aren't overly interesting. The first one of the Holy water, doesn't work as black and white. There simply isn't enough contrast in the image. Everything kind of blends together in shades of gray. Anyway, if you're using them for posterity's sake, then it's fine. Since you were using a 50 1.8, I would've openned up to f/2.0 and cranked the ISO up to 6400 to at least get the shot steady. Don't worry about noise. Which would you rather have? An infocus, sharp, properly exposed photo? Or a blurry one with no noise? Get the shot, fix the rest in PP.
     
  19. aarond12 macrumors 65816

    aarond12

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    #19
    Looking at the photo, I see a bit of vertical blur. In rare instances, I have been able to nominally fix that using the custom sharpening filter in PhotoShop. Depending on the length of the blur in pixels depends on the "distance" I use in the custom filter to compensate.

    Usually, it comes out as an oversharpened, ugly mess, but I think since this is a black-and-white picture, you might get better results.

    /starts a VPN connection home to try it on his Mac...
     
  20. Keleko thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #20
    Please be critical. I don't get better if someone isn't.

    I like the crop edit. I didn't really try to do much to it since I didn't think it was going to work at all. This was the angle I wanted at the time I took the picture. I wanted to show the person dipping while the people in line were out of focus, but still obvious what was going on. Maybe your suggestion would result in a better picture, and I may get to try that sometime. It just wasn't what I wanted to do at that moment.

    Oh, and I made the picture B&W because that was the "best" way to hide the blurriness of it from the color version.

    The baby's hand was annoying, I agree. Nothing I can do about that. Grandma wasn't going to turn around because she was looking at the baby the entire time. And her turned around would not be as good of a picture. That was the angle I had, and it was either take the picture or not. I could not change my position to get both baby and grandmother faces. The emotion is implied in the grandmother, and I know exactly what she's feeling because my grandmother did the same thing with my kids when she was holding them as babies. I think it stirs in me because I see my grandmother's face when I look at that picture.
     
  21. joepunk macrumors 68030

    joepunk

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    #21
    Mostly for me a shot gets "ruined" when I have the wrong lens on the camera.

    I can get by very nicely with a 50mm at 1/60. It does mostly boil down to personal stability techniques. I'm usually kneeling/sitting down and or leaning against something so that I can go down to 1/30 without much trouble.
     
  22. THX1139 macrumors 68000

    THX1139

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    #22
    I have far more ruined/bad shots than successful ones. It's part of the process.
     
  23. CrackedButter macrumors 68040

    CrackedButter

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    #23
    If that's what you wanted then that's fine, I can't argue with that. I'm a very graphic person so I focus on shapes in my composition.

    Now with the second picture I'm wondering 2 things.
    1. Is Access, why couldn't you get in front of them.
    2. I think you're adding to much of your own personality to the second image. We as viewers can assume the same things as what you're implying but it counts for nothing. It's not evocative in any way unless you show the emotion.

    I would smile if I saw the old lady smile.
     
  24. Keleko thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #24
    Church rules for photography during the service say stay in the back so as not to disturb the service. I'd have to go down the main aisle about halfway to get a front shot. I don't want my pastor mad at me for disobeying the rules. :)

    I was also running the sound for service that day, and the soundboard was right next to where I took the shot. I wasn't able to wander far from the board even if the rules didn't prohibit it.

    The baptismal bowl is also just a few steps from the soundboard, and I had enough time to shoot the few pictures of it during communion.

    On a side note, the parents of the baby also had a pro photographer (and a family friend) taking pictures during the service, so I didn't want to push the photo boundaries any further or get in her way. She appreciated the help I provided her for location suggestions during service and letting her know what was going to happen next so she could prepare. I also pointed out some possible shots worth taking which she also appreciated. She didn't get a front shot of grandma and baby, either, but she did get some of other family members in a similar pose when it was possible for her to do so. After service we talked for a good bit, and now I have a new contact in the pro biz. Oh, and she did like the baptism bowl shot shown above, or at least as it looked on my camera's LCD at the time...
     
  25. TheDrift- macrumors 6502a

    TheDrift-

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    #25
    One simple tip I got from a Scott Kelby book,

    When your struggling to get enough light and really pushing the shutterspeed/focal length rule and up against Camera shake. Shoot in burst mode if you shoot 4/5 shots in quick succession pretty good chance at least one will come out ok.
     

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