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Old Jul 26, 2007, 11:39 PM   #1
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Just got a new Canon 28-105 II USM lens for my new Rebel XT and I set out today to take a few test shots. For a cheap lens it has given me some GREAT shots (In under 24 hours of owning it!).
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Old Jul 26, 2007, 11:45 PM   #2
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another
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Old Jul 26, 2007, 11:49 PM   #3
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and another
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Old Jul 26, 2007, 11:53 PM   #4
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Last one. These were all hard to snap. It was kind of cloudy so I had to up the ISO to 400. I was shooting in tV mode with shutter speeds around 1/600. Generally the aperature was stopped down. In addition to poor lighting conditions, all the tourists that were watching had trouble standing still. Quite often great shots were ruined with elbows or fingers clouding up the frame.
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Old Jul 27, 2007, 10:00 AM   #5
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z0rk,

Now this is something different! Glad you're liking your new lens. A few observations regarding your photos:

Shot 1: Composition just doesn't work. It's a combination of losing important parts - like the dancer's leg and having a lot of unimportant dead space or heads in the shot. It could work with some of that extra stuff as long as you still got the dancer in - but since part of the dancer is cut off, it doesn't work. Also, the photo is pretty soft - part of that is the slow 1/250 shutter speed. Part may be your focusing technique and part may be post processing (i.e. not applying USM). Applying USM will help somewhat. But a faster shutter speed would have been better. ISO on this shot was 200. ISO 800 would have been a better choice. Also, a bit underexposed. This is the result of using shutter priority. Your aperture bottomed out before proper exposure could occur. Even so, the white pants can fool your camera's metering. The key is to expose for FACES. not pants. that means either using manual metering mode OR using exposure compensation. So for next time, shoot either manual mode OR shoot AV mode and use exposure compensation. In either case bump that ISO up.

Shot 2: Again, underexposed. Another suggestion might be to use flash - the problem is especially apparent on a shot like this with the face close to the ground - there are more shadows there - flash will help that problem witthout blowing highlights in the rest of the shot. If you don't want to or can't use a flash you should still try to expose for the performer's face and let background blow out if necessary. As a personal preference, the angle doesn't work for me on this shot - the slanted background is more of a distraction since the background people dominate the frame. Again a little soft.

Shot 3: ISO 200 1/250 shutter speed. Bump up that ISO. Also, applying USM will help. In general though not a flattering shot for a performer - with the emphasis of the shot being between her legs. Try to get the face rather than the butt in the frame. I realize you can't move around but it means timing your shot a little differently.

shot 4: best of the bunch. Nice framing and better exposure and reasonably sharp. With a little post processing this shot could really pop!!!

Thanks for sharing! And don't get too down about my comments. Shooting action is tougher than it looks - I only make constructive criticisms like this to help. Keep at it. Believe me if you take to heart the constructive criticisms of the sports shooters here you'll see a dramatic improvement on your action shots in a very short amount of time. Looking forward to seeing more from you in the future!
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Old Jul 27, 2007, 2:13 PM   #6
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nice pics, very cool subject! i have been wanting to shoot break dancers also.

those folks are great athletes! there aren't too many in my area! and i do

agree with johng, its a shame you couldn't ask them to photgraph them in

a practice spot. that way you get your camera and positioning dialed in.
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Old Jul 27, 2007, 8:55 PM   #7
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JohnG wrote:
Quote:
z0rk,

Now this is something different! Glad you're liking your new lens. A few observations regarding your photos:

Shot 1: Composition just doesn't work. It's a combination of losing important parts - like the dancer's leg and having a lot of unimportant dead space or heads in the shot. It could work with some of that extra stuff as long as you still got the dancer in - but since part of the dancer is cut off, it doesn't work. Also, the photo is pretty soft - part of that is the slow 1/250 shutter speed. Part may be your focusing technique and part may be post processing (i.e. not applying USM). Applying USM will help somewhat. But a faster shutter speed would have been better. ISO on this shot was 200. ISO 800 would have been a better choice. Also, a bit underexposed. This is the result of using shutter priority. Your aperture bottomed out before proper exposure could occur. Even so, the white pants can fool your camera's metering. The key is to expose for FACES. not pants. that means either using manual metering mode OR using exposure compensation. So for next time, shoot either manual mode OR shoot AV mode and use exposure compensation. In either case bump that ISO up.

Shot 2: Again, underexposed. Another suggestion might be to use flash - the problem is especially apparent on a shot like this with the face close to the ground - there are more shadows there - flash will help that problem witthout blowing highlights in the rest of the shot. If you don't want to or can't use a flash you should still try to expose for the performer's face and let background blow out if necessary. As a personal preference, the angle doesn't work for me on this shot - the slanted background is more of a distraction since the background people dominate the frame. Again a little soft.

Shot 3: ISO 200 1/250 shutter speed. Bump up that ISO. Also, applying USM will help. In general though not a flattering shot for a performer - with the emphasis of the shot being between her legs. Try to get the face rather than the butt in the frame. I realize you can't move around but it means timing your shot a little differently.

shot 4: best of the bunch. Nice framing and better exposure and reasonably sharp. With a little post processing this shot could really pop!!!

Thanks for sharing! And don't get too down about my comments. Shooting action is tougher than it looks - I only make constructive criticisms like this to help. Keep at it. Believe me if you take to heart the constructive criticisms of the sports shooters here you'll see a dramatic improvement on your action shots in a very short amount of time. Looking forward to seeing more from you in the future!
John, your comments don't get me down AT ALL. I am new to all of this, and I am trying to learn the games of composition and exposure all at the same time. Your comments are great, and they help me try to understand what I could have done better. I'm trying to read and learn as much as I can by reading and being critiqued like this. By all means, if you see more posts from me on here PLEASE critique them and give advice.
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Old Jul 27, 2007, 9:02 PM   #8
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Just one question though, what do you mean by using the USM? I thought ultra sonic motors just sort of worked in cameras... do I need to turn it on? Did you mean IS? (I'm picking up the acronyms and jargon, but not as fast as I'd like).
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Old Jul 28, 2007, 7:34 AM   #9
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ah - USM. Actually there are 2 different terms. The Canon USM which stands for Ultra Sonic Motor which you are referring to. The other term is Un Sharp Mask - it is a tool for sharpening a photo - I know it sounds backwards. Most processing software packages have it. Try some experimenting with it.
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Old Jul 29, 2007, 11:42 PM   #10
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In case anyone is interested, I toyed around with the curves in LAB mode and used an unsharpen mask. Here is the result
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