Thread For Improvement

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Krafty, Jan 29, 2009.

  1. Krafty macrumors 601

    Krafty

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2007
    Location:
    La La Land
    #1
    Taking off from this thread: http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=598309

    So far I've gained an SB-600, and right now I'm borrowing a 50mm AF Lens. Right now, I'm trying to shoot portraits for practice, so in using the 50mm, here's my first attempt:
    [​IMG]
    Fullscreen (resized)
    Edited (Photoshopped RAW)
    DeviantART Submission
    Gallery

    I realized my friend mistake was too small of a aperture, therefore not a lot of light got in. I couldn't shoot in slow shutter speed which caused the other shots to come out a tad blurry. Also, how would I adjust the Sb-600? It seems like every adjustment I make the flash stays the same. How else should I improve with these? Next are the ones I took with the stock 18-55mm lens:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    If you look at my DA gallery, you'll see I did some more shots outside which came out better.

    The second one I used the SB-600 w/Bounce card aiming towards the wall above her head.
     
  2. Krafty thread starter macrumors 601

    Krafty

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2007
    Location:
    La La Land
  3. Phrasikleia macrumors 601

    Phrasikleia

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2008
    Location:
    Over there------->
    #3
    I can't help you with your strobe questions, but I'll offer some comments. First of all, these are all portraits shot in landscape orientation. Breaking the orientation rule can be effective for some compositions (for profile images, for example), but here it creates what looks like haphazard framing. Secondly, it doesn't appear as though you've given much thought to the backgrounds behind your subjects. Thirdly, if you have a fast 50mm lens, you should be able to get some nice subject isolation by using a wider aperture, giving you a more shallow depth of field. And lastly, in each case your subject looks posed and aware of the camera, so I don't get a sense of the person coming through as a personality.
     
  4. Krafty thread starter macrumors 601

    Krafty

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2007
    Location:
    La La Land
    #4
    I figured portrait meant holding it vertically, but I also have trouble doing that as my hands tend to shake. I'm trying to aim at one thing at a time, and given the area I'm in I don't have many background choices, being so, it's even hard to find people since midterms are approaching and we're getting more busy.
     
  5. Phrasikleia macrumors 601

    Phrasikleia

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2008
    Location:
    Over there------->
    #5
    If you expect to be doing a lot of portraits, you might consider buying a battery grip for your camera. That way you will be able to hold the camera the same way you do for landscape orientation.

    As for the backgrounds: think of them as abstract patterns behind your subject. They don't have to be exotic locales or anything fancy, but they should at least be a good combination of light, shapes, tones, and hues--something that works visually with your subject. Ideally the background will provide a setting that informs the photo in some way. A good photo has a subject in a context; the background in a portrait gives you that context. Also, if you use a shallow depth of field, then the context can be as subtle as you want--just a hint of an environment (urban, rural, what have you), or even something blurred to the point of abstraction.

    Just remember that everything in the frame counts.
     
  6. Krafty thread starter macrumors 601

    Krafty

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2007
    Location:
    La La Land
    #6
    Took a few more: http://fledmorphine.deviantart.com/gallery/

    It's the first five, the only vertical ones. For some reason, I still can't get a hang of how to set the lighting with Manual, it just doesnt want to cooperate. Half the time I have to fiddle with the aperture and shutter speed cause the SB-600 isn't emitting enough light. These lens are making me so frustrated cause I can't figure out what I'm doing wrong.
     
  7. raxafarian macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2007
    #7
    The shutter speed will not affect the flash exposure at all. Shutter speed will only affect the areas of the picture not lit by the strobe.

    If you are shooting manual then just pick a shutter speed up to your flash sync speed. Increasing or decreasing your f-stop and/or your flash power (flash has to be set on manual too) is the only way to affect the exposure. If you still have the sb-600 set for ttl then you won't have manual control since it's adjusting for whatever f-stop you pick.
     
  8. Krafty thread starter macrumors 601

    Krafty

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2007
    Location:
    La La Land
    #8
    For some reason, the D40 says the SB-600 has to be in manual.
     

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