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Project - Natural Light Challenge #2

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Peano you did good!! you got the shadows as we were supposed to and I am totally hearing you on the 50mm lens, the keeping the ss up and the bumping the ISO! I have figured out that moving back a couple of meteres (or at least a couple of good steps) is the way to get better focus with the 50mm especially when it is wide open. I have really noticed a difference in my photos since doing that. SO much so that I am so loving my prime. I got my zoom out the other day and didnt use it long. It just didnt give me what I liked.
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Also was it Molly or Nikki that asked about the focal length, ss crop ratio and putting it all together so that you can figure out the minimum ss you need to get a decent lack of hand shake? It basically came down to focal length x crop ratio gives you a starting value I think canon was 1.5 or 1.6? and after a lot of discussion as long as you aim for at least 2x the focal length you are going ok for minimum required ss. That said as both Anne and Molly mentioned you could have closed your Ap down a touch to bring more in focus and still had the ss to handle it or dropped your ISO as well.
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good job!
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You did a good job! I can see the shadowing and the different position of the catchlights (as opposed to what we were going for in the first assignment). Your edit looks great!
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Laughing at your description of your ds as compared to a toddler. My 9 yr. old is slightly ADD so I can relate.

i think you did a really nice job as well. i agree with anne and molly on your shutter and aperature. did you focus on the nose? i see the focus falling on his hair, nose, and mouth. along with closing down the aperature, try focusing on the eyes and recompose your shot.... other than that, i don't have anything else about the assignment... with this lens though, for me it took me a while to figure it out. i was the one who thought since i could go to 1.8 that i started with that. now i have been realizing that if i do shoot that wide, i need to step back further to get more in focus. trust me, it took me a while<img border='0' src='/graphics/mbicons/smilies_v2/wink.gif'> you'll get it. just be patient with it.

Thanks for the CC! All I can say about the 1/640 shutter speed is that you would be surprised how much similarity there is between a toddler and a 9 year old with ADHD when it's the second to last day of school and they have a new game for their DS they're wanting to get back to, LOL!
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I guess I was thinking in my own wacky way that the higher my SS, the less blurry my photo will be, and so the higher the better. I am just so frustrated with my lack of choices in lenses right now. I know people like the 50mm 1.8 but it just seems to hunt a LOT, which kind of rattles and distracts me, and I'm already working under the pressure of an antsy kid. I think I'm going to have to find a more cooperative, calmer subject, like my friend's two-year-old <img border='0' src='/graphics/mbicons/smilies_v2/grin.gif'>.
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Molly, I'm not sure what a pull back shot is but I can tell you my setup was virtually identical to Anne's diagram illustating the proper setup for assignment #2. The only difference is that I have two west-facing french doors which would be at a 90 degree angle to the window in the diagram, (which faces north in my house) to the photographer's right and facing the subject.
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I know that seems like there would be a ton of light, but seriously with the overcast, rainy skies, two huge trees just outside the north-facing windows, an upstairs deck that blocks the light coming in through the french doors, there was just not much light to work with. My 28-135 3.5-5.6 was unusable, unless I used a tripod. Believe me, he was put right up against the window, and I was completely crammed into the corner.
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I know I just need more practice with the 1.8 and when I shoot, I'm thinking about keeping the SS up and not shooting wide open but if you guys can offer any other suggestions to help me improve focus, I would really appreciate it.
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Molly, I'm still trying to wrap my mind around your post the other day about separating focusing and metering. I do use BBF and shoot AI Servo; wondering if I should try a different AF mode?
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First of all, I think you did a really, really nice job on this! Seriously!
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I'm sorry it was frustrating - it's so hard when it's raining all the time and you just want to take photos. I used to love rainy days, and I still do...unless I'm waiting for a bright day to take photos!
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I totally agree with Molly re. the ISO - normally I'm telling people to crank it up so they can get better shutter speeds, but I'm going to tell you the opposite, LOL. There's really no need to have a ss of 1/640 with an older, sitting subject. 1/200 or 1/250 would be more than enough. But it's much easier to start from where you are (being comfortable/willing to raise the ISO) than to get over the stress of trying to always keep the ISO at 200.
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Your lighting here does look really nice - you have beautiful, soft shadowing. I'm trying to figure out the catchlights, like Molly. Was there a window across the room and slightly in front of him? And how far from the window was he? If you have a chance to take a pull-back shot, that would be extremely helpful.
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If you're struggling with cloudy days or little light, sometimes you have to move them pretty close to the window and them cram yourself up against the wall (I've gotten myself in to some weird positions trying to shoot from right up against the wall, LOL). but honestly, your light looks so nice here that I would say that you were completely successful at this assignment!
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Great job!
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Anne
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P.S. Re the 50mm 1.8 - I used that lens for several years, and found it to be a great lens. If you're used to zooms, it does take some getting used to, though. But I love primes!

Well, from a purely technical standpoint, I understand wanting to keep your SS up, but 1/640 seems pretty fast for a relatively still subject. Even with two toddlers I only go for 1/200 or so. I think you could have lowered your ISO and SS and still gotten a decent exposure, but I don't know your camera. . . I also think your focus fell on his hair. Alternatively to the advice I just gave, you could have lowered your SS and stopped down to 3.2 or so to give you just a bit more latitude for DOF. Your CWB looks great. I rarely set one, but am always much happier with my shots when I do. I also think your PPing is fine - nice, actually. Colors are nice and bright without being washed.
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Now, as for the lighting, do you have a pull back shot? The catchlights are there in both eyes, but they are at the top center, not off to the side like I would expect with 45&#194;&#176; light. I definitely see the shadowing on his left side, so obviously the light was to his right, but I'm having trouble reconciling the catchlights to the shadows. This is really just my own inexperience with the lighting. Also, it looks like he was sitting on a couch? Where was your reflector in relation to him and the arm of the couch? It seems like there is a catchlight in the bottom of his right eye, on the same side as the window?
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You definitely achieved the shadowed light that we were looking for, so I think overall this was a successful exercise for you. <img border='0' src='/graphics/mbicons/smilies_v2/smile.gif'>
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Project - Natural Light Challenge #2
About this project


Project - Natural Light Challenge #2
by peano
posted 06/25/09 at 12:12 AM
Galleries: Photography

OK, here's my attempt. These uploaded in reverse–the first image is the edited one, the second the SOOC.

EXIF: Canon D Rebel XT with the 50mm 1.8. ISO 800, 1/640, f2.0. North facing window. Tried a custom white balance for the first time.

This assignment made me really cranky. I'm really disappointed in all the noise, but I have to keep the ISO up there because it's just so DARK outside with the endless rain.

I'm not liking the 50mm 1.8–I've been seriously working at keeping my SS up and taking a step back to try to get better focus but I just can't seem to nail it–and this lens is my only option because of the lack of light. I just don't think I'm a prime kind of girl.


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