Go Back   Steve's Digicams Forums > Digital SLR and Interchangeable Lens Cameras > Pentax / Samsung dSLR, K Mount Mirrorless

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old Jul 13, 2010, 10:06 AM   #1
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Gotland, Sweden
Posts: 281
Default new to dslr need some advice!

Hi!

Just got my Pentax K-X, my first true dslr, i have had a lot of cameras this past year and the last one I bought i may, it was a Sony HX5v, but I have come to realize that if I wanna get the pictures I want I need a dslr.

But to the chase, I have just been out with my kids to a lake nearby where I took some wonderful shoots, some great some not. But what should I do with:

No cloud in the sky, strong sun and water (with sun reflection)

I went for fast shutterspeed and high aperture and it seems to have worked quite ok, but not great always, some faces where dark and so on... is there anything I should think of? is it better to lower the aperture and shoot a slower speeds?
CyberTron is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Old Jul 13, 2010, 10:17 AM   #2
Moderator
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 8,529
Default

Cybertron,

It's not an issue of high shutter/wide aperture vs. slow shutter/narrow aperture. It's an issue of metering and dynamic range. When you have a lot of sunlight and reflected light the reality is it may not be possible for the entire image to be properly exposed (i.e. the scene may have too much dynamic range for the camera to handle). There are a couple things to consider:
1) where the light is and it's reflection - you want to avoid bright light on faces if you can avoid it.
2) taking over or adjusting metering when you can't control #1 - either by shooting a manual exposure or by using exposure compensation or by switching metering modes on the camera. I would suggest the start is to learn the different metering options available on your camera and learning how much of the frame they look at when determining exposure. Then it's a matter of experience to tell you when you either need to switch those modes or recognize the variation in light levels in the frame are going to cause issues. You can then use exposure compensation to make sure your most important subject is exposed correctly. Now, you can also look into High Dynamic Range (HDR) approaches where multiple shots are blended (or multiple RAW conversions if the scene has moving parts that won't allow for several exposures to be taken).

Finally - when taking photos outside with people, flash can be your friend - for exactly the reason you brought up - dark faces.

In the end, a DSLR is not a magic camera - getting better results in challenging conditions has more to do with learning photography. Everything I mentioned can be accomplished with many digicams as well as DSLRs. Anyway, hopefully that gives you some things to research and try. Best of luck!
JohnG is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jul 13, 2010, 10:53 AM   #3
Senior Member
 
Frogfish's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Shanghai, China
Posts: 2,774
Default

Congratulations on buying a fine camera CT ! Often the best way to get critique is to post a shot or two up here and ask for C&C. Look forward to seeing your work and welcome to the site !
Frogfish is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jul 13, 2010, 11:10 AM   #4
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 627
Default

If I'm shooting outside, and I think I need to be wearing sunglasses, then my camera might need sunglasses as well. So I am prone to putting a filter on my lens when I'm shooting outdoors in daylight. The filter acts as sunglasses for the lens.

My favorite filter is a circular polarizing filter, (often refered to by its initals, CFP). One really neat feature of a CFP is that, if used correctly, it can eliminate the glare of the sun on surface of the water. Play with one in a camera store. Find a glass showcase that has glare on it from the overhead lights. Put a CFP on your lens and spin it while looking thru it. You will eventually see the glare go away and you can then photograph the items in the showcase without any glare.

I'm not the most experienced photographer around. So hopefully, some of the pros will read this comment and add theirs. They may tell you that I'm am way wrong and you shouldn't listen to me. All I can say about that is "Ain't the first time and ain't the last time I've been wrong!"

My first CFP, I bought at ebay and paid very little for it. I think I paid $15.00 US. I liked my results well enough that I went out and invested in a really good one.

Faithfully yours,
FP

Last edited by FaithfulPastor; Jul 13, 2010 at 11:13 AM.
FaithfulPastor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jul 13, 2010, 11:31 AM   #5
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Gotland, Sweden
Posts: 281
Default

wow, that was fast responses!! amazing!

thank you all, I will certainly post some pictures that I am taking on things, right now I take pictures of everything from flowers, to my kids, to the neighbors!

Some pictures are just outstanding in quality! (with my standards)
thanks for the welcoming btw ;D

/Michael
CyberTron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jul 13, 2010, 12:11 PM   #6
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Gotland, Sweden
Posts: 281
Default

these images are all having some flaws and if anyone would wanna guess whatwent wrong please tell.

In my next batch I will show images that I am extremely happy to have captured

The birds, guessing the lighting and distance was my problem
for the church tower what happened? is it just the exposure thart is wrong?
and i am guesing I focused wrong at the dragonfly?
Attached Images
    
CyberTron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jul 13, 2010, 12:17 PM   #7
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Gotland, Sweden
Posts: 281
Default

here are my good samples
(according to my standards that is
Attached Images
   
CyberTron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jul 13, 2010, 2:57 PM   #8
Senior Member
 
mtngal's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Frazier Park, CA
Posts: 16,052
Default

For the first dragonfly - I don't think the focus is off as much as it's a combination of factors. I don't have an exif reader on my work computer so I don't know what shutter speed or aperture you used for it (or lens, for that matter). Just looking at it, I think there's two more likely things that went wrong - it looks more like a bit of camera shake and a bit of softness because you were shooting with a wider aperture (smaller number), so the lens was softer and the depth of field was small. What shutter speed were you using? Did you see the hand lighted up in the viewfinder, sometimes it takes a second or two for the anti-shake to become active.

I'm on a computer at work with a poor monitor and no exif reader. I'd like to take a look at your pictures when I get home to judge more closely, but I suspect you've run into a metering problem with the church tower and the gull is more a dynamic range problem, plus your lighting is very difficult. I'd like to see the pictures on a good monitor before committing to those things.

As far as metering goes - remember that the camera is going to try to make whatever it meters a mid-grey. If your subject is bright, like snow, the picture will be underexposed because the camera will make all that bright white into grey. If most of your scene is dark, for instance, and your subject is light (and you don't care about any detail in the shadows) then use either spot metering or center weighted metering on your subject, lock in the exposure settings (the AE-L button), recompose, focus and shoot.

The gull shot - were you trying to pan when you took the shot? It looks like there might have been some camera shake due to panning but this monitor isn't the best so I might be seeing something that's not there. The biggest thing I see is that you are shooting a back-lit white bird against a dark background, a very hard thing to do. As you found out, the camera's dynamic range can't really handle it (blown out tail feathers). The camera also metered off of the barn I suspect, which could have been darker than it is. One approach to this might have been to choose a -Ev setting, to underexpose the picture so that you don't blow out the tail feathers so much. But then, the bird would probably be darker than you would want. Better idea would have been to shoot the gull when the light is more directly on it, or even side-lit, rather than back-lit like it is. Finally, white birds are hard to photograph at the best of times - wait until you try an egret.

I like your good ones, they look very nice. The only thing I would have done differently with the last flower shot is to probably shoot with a smaller aperture (larger number) so that I would have more depth of field. Your flower is in shadow so that might mean using a tripod as your shutter speed would also be slower. Flowers can be either very easy or very frustrating to shoot.
mtngal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jul 13, 2010, 3:13 PM   #9
Senior Member
 
shoturtle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Frankfurt AM
Posts: 11,348
Default

There is no exif data. It would help if we know what the shutter speed and aperture and iso's where.
__________________
Super Frequent Flyer, no joke. Ex Patriot and loving it.
Canon Eos 60D, T1i/500D, Eos1, Eos 630, Olympus EPL-1, and a part time Pentax K-X shooter.
shoturtle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jul 13, 2010, 4:28 PM   #10
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Gotland, Sweden
Posts: 281
Default

mtngal: Thanks for your input , it makes sense, I will try and look at doing some testing with different spotmetering/ev....
also, you are right, i was panning for the bird shot, should I have turned off shake reduction?

My lenses are the kit-lenses: DA 18-55 and DA 55-300 (mostly 55-300 was used today)

I'm sorry about the exif data, thought it would come with the pics, but more often than not iPhoto doesn't agree,
I will get picasa for imageuploading i think...
I will reupload with full rez pics..

btw, is there any "best practises" for how the NR should be set in the camera? high/medium/low? for me that is shooting JPEG only, what about sharpness in the camera? any tips? or is it just trial and error ?

Update: My picasa links: http://picasaweb.google.com/michael....aUppladdningar

Last edited by CyberTron; Jul 13, 2010 at 4:54 PM.
CyberTron is offline   Reply With Quote
 
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 2:03 AM.