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Looking for improvement This is the e-group critique board. If you post a picture here it will be assumed that you are looking for comprehensive technical feedback - both good and bad, but always respectful. Only post pictures here if you can deal with potentially negative constructive criticism. Anyone is qualified to comment and post feedback, and everyone is encouraged to do so. NB: "Looking for Improvement" is the place to post any pictures you would like advice on improving, no matter how bad you might think they are.

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Old 29th July 2009
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Perfect Portraits

Hi Everyone

I was hoping you would share with me what camera settings you use for close up portraits, Groups of people over 3 or more, inside and outside.

I have been having very mixed results with my e-30, Not being in focus everytime, whites being over exposed, the usual bad stuff

I thought it was the kit lens not performing well, but have upgraded to a 14-54mm and still getting the same results

I usually use portrait mode for close up head shots and landscape for group shots. I usually change the wb to auto in both modes as landscape defaults to sunny. I also change the af point to center and focus on one of the eyes.

Now I can use the same modes on a Nikon D60 and get perfect sharpness and colours everytime, which is really winding me up as I know my e-30 is a much better camera and really need to know how to get the best results with people photography.

Here are some samples to show what I mean, these are not great examples of my photography skills (honeslty as a team we do produce a excellent final set) and wont end up in the final set, but they was taken at the same time in the same lighting conditions

D60
http://www.shunice.com/picture/d60.JPG

E-30
http://www.shunice.com/picture/e30.JPG


Look forward to your replies

Steve
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Last edited by stevednp3; 29th July 2009 at 06:22 PM. Reason: Wanted to add photos
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Old 29th July 2009
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I think your main problem is using the scene modes! You need to get it into aperture, & then decide which f number to set it to depending on what sort of effect you are trying to achieve.
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Old 29th July 2009
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Re: Perfect Portraits

THanks EH1, what would you consider safe f stops something to easy to remember to be on the safe side when taking quick shots

Like f4 for close ups and f8 for groups ?

Cheers
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Old 29th July 2009
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Re: Perfect Portraits

Steve,

I've studied both pictures carefully and the E-30 image is sharper than the D-60 image, I could go into all the detail but the simple truth will be the same.

Never shoot anything as important as a wedding unless you are completely familiar with your camera and know how it reacts to such high contrast images as white dresses next to black jackets.

The focus has to be pin sharp on the bride, which you can do by zooming in on the face, taking a note of the distance on the lens scale, then zoom out to compose the shot and make sure the focus has not changed. This is the old school way of spot focusing, so see if your spot focus readings coincide with this old fassioned way of doing it. If needs be get a tape rule and measure the distances on some practice targets and see if it's reading correctly.

The "sweet spot" on the 14-54 is between f5.6 & f11, which is a good working range for giving plenty of depth of field. If you want to do portrate shots then at f3.5 @54mm it blures the background quite nicely

As has been said, don't use any "modes". Shoot in RAW and make absolutly sure you don't burn out detail on the dress. No one gives a hoot if you can't see the stiching on the blokes suit but if you can't see every tiny detail on that dress, then you have blown it

This is why I don't do weddings
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Re: Perfect Portraits

Hi Graham

Thanks very much for the tips, I will indeed try that out as soon as this weather clears up so I can get out and practise before I do anymore weddings.

Luckly I did shoot in RAW mode and any pics over exposed I could recover, but thats not the point as if im doing weddings I should be getting it perfect in camera and I really understand that.

But I will stay out of the scene modes from now on and concentrate using Aperture mode. Been doing weddings for 2 years and have always used the same scene modes on older olympus cameras with no problems, but looks like the e-30 is a step up and maybe I need to treat it so.

Thanks again, really appreciate it. I will post back with my practice results.

If anyone else has any other tips I would also love to hear from you

Cheers

Steve
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Old 9th August 2009
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Re: Perfect Portraits

Hi Again everyone, thanks for the advice and over the last few weeks, I have been staying away from the scene/auto modes and forcing myself to use manual and aperture modes.

I think I have now got the hang of it and I think Im now getting better results, here are some shots of my wife, daughter and my daughters friend. please let me know your thoughts on the below portraits.

These are all straight out of camera, with no cropping or editing










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Last edited by stevednp3; 9th August 2009 at 05:21 PM.
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Old 9th August 2009
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Re: Perfect Portraits

I don't think focus is the issue with the E3 image but the white of the dress is burn out, you can set the camera to indicate when this is happening and adjust exposure when needed as a rule I set -1/3 to prevent highlight burn out, if you are shooting RAW you can bring an under exposed image back but you will never recover burn out highlights. I think this is a case of getting used to your equipment, and remeber "when all else fails read the instructions" its all in there.
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Digital Equipment: Olympus E1 - E30 - E-500 | EC-14 & EC-20 Teleconverter | Zukio 14-45mm, 40-150mm, 150mm F/2, 50-200mm SWD, 70-300mm | Sigma 10-20mm F/4-5.6 SLD, 18-50 f/2.8 EX DC MACRO, 150 F2.8 Macro & 50-500mm (Bigma) |Tamron 135mm f/2.5 Macro 200mm f/3.5 | Optecka 800mm f/8 Prime | Wallimax 500mm F/6.3 Mirror Lens | Metz Mecablitz 36 AF-4 O Digital Flash | Manfrotto 055XB Tripod, Opticron Carbon Fibre "Traveller" Tripod, Sidewinder Gimbal Head, Manfratto 676B monopod, Manfrotto 322RC2 Head Lowpro Nature Trekker AWII, Lowpro Vertex 100 AW and Lowpro Toploader Pro 75 AW.
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Re: Perfect Portraits

Thanks Barrie thats a very good tip thanks, your right sometimes you do need to read the manual !!
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