Thoughts on This Picture

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by udontno, Oct 11, 2011.

  1. udontno macrumors regular

    udontno

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2011
    Location:
    VA, USA
    #1
    A couple of weeks ago, I spent about an hour running around my college campus with my camera in hand to finally get a shot of one of those squirrels.

    What do you think?

    Click here to see it on PicasaWeb
     
  2. El Cabong macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2008
    #2
    Preface: all of the following comments are meant to be constructive.

    Given the lighting, ISO, and shutter speed, it's clear that it wasn't sunniest of days to go out shooting. In the future, especially when shooting fast-moving subjects like squirrels, make your life easier by going out on a day when there's plenty of ambient light, so you won't have to slow your shutter speed (blurring movement) and raise your ISO (reducing fine detail). On that note...

    Your photo is out of focus, in two ways. First, the lens is focused on the tree bark instead of the squirrel. Don't know if the squirrel was sitting still or not, but when shooting a fast-moving subject, it's good to take multiples before reviewing your images, trying to nail the focus in each one. This gives you some insurance (i.e. more photos of the same thing to pick and choose from), which is important because proper focus is not guaranteed, nor is the opportunity to get the same shot again. Checking each shot for composition/etc immediately after taking it is a good way to miss something.

    Second, the whole photo is fuzzy, indicating hand shake/movement. It may be hard to see when zoomed out to half size, but blurriness makes a difference, especially when you need to crop something, which would have benefited this shot (imo). It's exacerbated by the high(ish) ISO. When shooting, especially when zoomed in, it's important to be as still as possible before/while hitting the shutter release. This can be mitigated by image stabilization, but that can only do so much to compensate for shaky hands and/or body movement.

    Lastly, when shooting moving subjects, you'll want to keep your shutter speed somewhat high, or movement will be blurred. Bare minimum (for me) is 1/125 s, and that still depends on the subject (and focal length etc). Squirrels, for instance, can be pretty jittery even when they aren't moving around. Again, more ambient light will let you speed up the shutter.

    It's said that it takes 10,000 hours to become an expert at something, so you're off to a good start. ;) Keep at it!
     
  3. fitshaced macrumors 68000

    fitshaced

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2011
    #3
    All of the above. And also, a tighter crop on the squirrel perhaps. There is too much of the tree and makes the picture uninteresting.
     
  4. tinman0 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2008
    #4
    Tough subject with the wrong kit. You could crop harder but your losing pixels and resolution.

    Trouble with small animals is that you have to get close, otherwise they just get lost in their surroundings. You could do what I did and find a cheap Canon 80-200mm to scratch this itch. Not a great lens, won't win a competition, but does it's job.

    (Could have been worse though, wandering round a courtyard a few weeks ago and had a squirrel (friendly chap) about 4 feet away from me in a tree - trouble was that I only had a 16mm lens on me. Lets just say that unless I got the camera 12" away from him, I was toast. He let me within about 2 feet before he was off).
     
  5. udontno thread starter macrumors regular

    udontno

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2011
    Location:
    VA, USA
    #5
    Yeah I had a feeling if I cropped it more he was going to look yucky. I'm already thinking ahead to my next lens... looking at this lens. I have a Canon Rebel t3 camera. I'm interested in shooting things like this squirrel and sports shots. I love action shots, but know that I don't have the power for it.
     
  6. Doylem macrumors 68040

    Doylem

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2006
    Location:
    Wherever I hang my hat...
    #6
    In the meantime, maybe try shooting the pix that work best with the gear you already have. It's a good discipline for a photographer (otherwise we're forever postponing our best shots... simply because we don't have this lens or that accessory)... :)
     
  7. TheDrift- macrumors 6502a

    TheDrift-

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2010
    #7
    yeah thats a great lends for the price, as others have said it depends on what you want to shoot though.

    The kit lens and the 55 250 is a great combo and will let you cover a lot of ground at a very reasonable price
     
  8. snberk103 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2007
    Location:
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    #8
    Two thumbs up! To what Doylem says.... Shoot with what you have, instead of worrying about the shots you might have gotten with more stuff. That said, it's always fun to add new stuff to the kit. But it's more cost effective to identify the shots you are constantly, and then get the equipment that will fill that need.

    As for the shot.... other's have basically covered everything. I always ask my students "Why did you take that picture?" And then when they tell me, I then ask them "Does this picture tell the viewer that?" Then we go back over theories of composition.... So... why did you take that picture? And if it was to show us a cute squirrel, does the picture tell the viewer that?
     
  9. udontno thread starter macrumors regular

    udontno

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2011
    Location:
    VA, USA
    #9
    Oh definitely focusing on what I can do. The kit lens I have is excellent for close ups of things like flowers, great for portrait type pics of people, etc. So I've worked a lot with that, but my interests really lie outside of what I've got the capabilities for here, which is why I want the 55-250. I'm a college freshman, worked in journalism departments in my high school so got to use a lot of high end camera equipment to take sports photos, etc. I know that's the stuff I really enjoy. I have gotten some good pictures with what I have though, just always wanting more! That's human nature.
     

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