Monday, June 20, 2011

Focus Problems

I am not talking about Attention Deficit Disorder, although at times I feel I may be afflicted with that too. My focus problem deals with my pictures. Take the picture below:


It could've been a perfectly cute picture, but it's just not crisp and clear. It was shot at ISO 200, f/5.6 and 1/15 shutter speed. Do any of my photographer friends/enthusiasts have any tips? Most of my photos come out like this, and I think my exposure is correct, but I must be doing something wrong. Help, please!


Tara said...

What setting are you using? I like to use the aperture priority setting, especially when photographing people. In this picture, you are using a low f-stop, which is great for close up face pictures if you what the background to be nice and blurry. But since this certain picture doesn't have a lot of depth and not much of a background to blur, you can get away with using a higher f-stop which will then automatically increase your shutter speed (if using the aperture priority setting) which will make you image crisper. If you still want the low f-stop, I would suggest increasing the amount of natural light in the picture, this will increase the shutter speed too.

Molly said...

Meg- So the problem that you're most likely having is called motion blur. Your shutter speed is a bit too slow to hand hold the camera and take a nice, crisp photo (unless you have some seriously steady hands!). For the most part, the slowest shutter speed that an average person can hand hold a camera is 1/60th.

So what the means is you have to re-adjust your exposure settings (which it looks like your ISO 200, f/ 5.6, and 1/15 shutter are correct). Do you shoot on manual, or on auto? If you're shooting manual, then you can change a number of things, but the easiest thing to do is bump up your ISO, and then speed up your shutter speed. I assume that the shallowest fstop you can go to is 5.6? Can you go any wider to a 4.0, 2.8, etc? Because, actually, if you can have a wider fstop, then that would be the easiest thing to change. But, if you can't, then bump up your ISO to 400, possibly to 640 (the higher ISO you have, the grainier the photo, but it lets you shoot with a faster shutter speed), and then bump your shutter to 1/60th of a second.

So I'm not really sure if that made complete sense. If not, go to the Pioneer Woman blog and read up on all of her tutorials on fstop, shutter speed, and ISO and it will probably make more sense:) Overall, you just need to be shooting with a faster shutter speed so you don't get a blurry photo (whether you move your hand, or she wiggles). And while you can shoot with a shutter speed of 1/60th, I would recommend shooting with an even faster shutter speed (like 1/120th or somewhere around there)so you don't have to worry about motion blur.

Hopefully this helps! But I'm still loving this photo:) Little Lily is such a doll!

Lindsey said...

Hey, I'd go with a higher ISO, at least 400, but even 800. That will get you one or two stops. I always have my shutter at 125 if at all possible, and I would rather go more open on the aperture. So, if you can 4.0 is a great one to hang out at. If you have 2.8, I'd even go there, to have a quicker shutter. With 2.8 you will have a pretty shallow DOF though. For me, I would change this setting to, ISO 800, Aperture 4.0, Shutter 125 (it was 1/15 right?) Basically, you can add 3 stops of light my changing those settings.

Oh, and I shoot it all on manual. Gives you the most control. Also, I'm sure you know this, but the higher the # of shutter, 1/60, 1/125, 1/250 the faster it is. The lower the # of aperture, 5.6, 4.0, 2.8 the more wide open it is, thus more light and a shallower DOF. I shoot Lucy inside all the time, at ISO 800, 2.8 aperture.