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Old Mar 5, 2004, 5:16 PM   #1
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Default Evidence that my stepson moved out...

...and I can burn candles without hearing complaints
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Old Mar 5, 2004, 5:33 PM   #2
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You've got to do something about stabilizing that camera of yours. Every heartbeat shivers the poor thing, and it shows up readily in both macros and with long lenses. I, myself, apparently suffer from a bad case of palsy, so I know about these things.

Are you willing to try again on this picture? I really like the idea of photographing a candle that's newly blown out. I'm not sure I've ever seen it done before. So, your idea is excellent and worth another try.

(My son moved out 3 years ago, so why do I keep falling over his stuff? How come his stuff didn't follow him when he left?)
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Old Mar 5, 2004, 6:45 PM   #3
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Of course I'm willing to try again! I do have a slight tremor on my left side (actually went to the ER when it showed up four years ago but tons of testing came back negative). Perhaps I will try the old bean trick. Tomorrow. Yes, that shutter speed was too low (1/20) not to use a tripod. Perhaps when the DH leaves for a bit tomorrow I'll amuse myself and mess up the living room to try again. Thanks!
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Old Mar 5, 2004, 7:01 PM   #4
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Was it just movement or a combination of also being to close to focus. You would be wise to invest in a tripod. I have 2, one a very old and stable Sears and a new Gitzo reversible/panhead, wait I have 3. Also a small collapsible tripod i bought in Hong Kong way back in the early 70's. I keep it in my camera bag. It goes from 10" to 3'
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Old Mar 6, 2004, 7:17 AM   #5
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OK - here's what else I got. This one is using a flash and faster shutter speed (I don't like the coloring as well) and using a basic "sharpen" filter in my software:


And here's what I have with a tripod, no flash (still fuzzy! but better, I think):
'

I spent hours on this and love the composition and lighting in that second one, esp. the curl of the smoke - but it is still a little difficult. I am consistently focusing on that blob of wax building on the candle. With a 2.82 f-stop, perhaps my depth of field is too narrow? I like that, typically, tho - and to use, say 8, would blow the shutter speed out of the water.

Are any of these better or is this just a shot that I should walk away from for awhile and then try again when I'm fresh?
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Old Mar 6, 2004, 8:25 AM   #6
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Being that close and using a wide aperture means the depth of field is very narrow, maybe too narrow for what you're trying to accomplish. Also, the blob-of-wax problem means you're focusing on it instead of the wick. Are you using the LCD to focus or the viewfinder? You really need to use the latter if you're not.

These are technical problems which you can resolve only through practice. Periodically, I drag myself kicking and screaming into setting up situations for systematically testing the settings on my camera. It's so darned tedious, but it always helps. In your case, you might try photographing a ruler with the one-inch mark closest to you and the twelve-inch mark farthest away. Photograph it at a fairly low angle, focusing on the six-inch mark. I know this is really boring, but you should photograph that ruler using least every other aperture size. When you're about to keel over from boredom, load the pictures on your computer to see the differences between the apertures. Oh, and stabilize that camera! You want no camera shake to confuse the issue.
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Old Mar 6, 2004, 8:27 AM   #7
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If your camera will accept one, use a cable release or at least the self timer.
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Old Mar 6, 2004, 9:16 AM   #8
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i like the colors in the last one....but you need more depth of field.....btw....you are shooting in Manual right? wat is the white balance set on? if you use a smaller arperture (smaller in size not number lol) you can shine a couple lights on the candle or use a flash to keep the shutter speed up....or you can change the film speed......also wat ISO are you using for these? and wat lighting are you using? you might want to find a something white and manually set a white balance (if your camera can) it'll say how to do that in the camera manual if you don't know how......

keep shooting
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Old Mar 6, 2004, 3:26 PM   #9
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Thanks for the tips, guys! I never thought about the ruler exercise - that's a good one, esp. since I am blind as a bat with corrective lenses. Yes, I focus through the lens, Barb. I don't rely much on any LCD. Old habits, I guess! Yes, I know my depth of field is extremely short - but to lengthen it would be to let less light in - and I'm already pushing that. Maybe with additional lighting but I have a feeling my DH has exercised all his patience with this little project for now, while he's trying to read or watch TV and I ask him to move the lamp, blow out the candle, climb over him with the tripod, etc.

White balance is set to manual, as is everything else. It's a Pentax *istD and I am currently using my older K-mounts. Thus, everything is manual.

That was a great idea about setting the self-timer, DX! I will have to try that. I have a port for a shutter-release but only an old shutter release that may damage my innards. I haven't checked for compatibility yet.

Thanks for all the help and patience and tips, guys! I think I will shelf this assignment for awhile. Maybe try again later. Much later.
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Old Mar 6, 2004, 3:37 PM   #10
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ahh ok

well just remember lights grab a nearby lamp if you need to
or a longer shutter speed with a tripod or something
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