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Old Dec 26, 2010, 4:00 AM   #1
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Default New Cars :D

Well, took some pix of two cars my boys were getting...turned out quite good I belive, but what should I have done differently? should I have used smaller aperture? Should I have put the focus different?

all pictures were taken with low light, handheld and slow shutterspeed (1/20 and below), didn't have access to my tripod..

i guess my exif are off, so iso: 3200, noise reduction in lightroom and some sharpening applied)
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Old Dec 26, 2010, 6:29 AM   #2
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Sorry Michael - not your best work.

1/20 is too slow for most people and there is tons of movement in these shots. DoF is also too narrow (I'm guessing this was not your intention) for a model car. I guess these should be shot similar to product shots so in that regard you want the whole car in focus.

The giveaway is your comment about not having a tripod and shooting at 3,200 (not that in itself is the problem). I think you really need to find a way to stabilise the camera, whether by using books, cushions whatever, and use the timer, then even very slow shutter speeds won't be an issue, F14 or f16 can be used without a problem and you can get the ISO down to 200 as well.

Give it a try !
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Old Dec 26, 2010, 8:02 AM   #3
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I don't do much of this type of photography much because I get frustrated too fast, and I find this type of thing difficult.

They would definitely look better with a smaller aperture. The transition from oof to in focus when it comes to the car looks kind of strange to me. I like the angle you chose on the first one, and with a little more dof, it would be pretty good, but you have the additional problem of photographing a high contrast subject and it would be hard to keep detail in the darks and not blow out the highlights. Lighting would be difficult, I'd be tempted to use multiple exposures and do an HDR.
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Old Dec 26, 2010, 10:24 AM   #4
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Hi Michael,

You've got some neat subjects to try different things with. You could, of course get more DOF from smaller apertures, but you can also achieve this by using a longer focal length and shooting from farther away with wider apertures. I've always found it interesting to see the difference this can make from a perspective standpoint. By using a longer FL, the background is compressed, and looks closer. This can really make a difference in how the shot looks. You can experiment with this by shooting both cars in the same shot, with one in the background out of focus, and the other as the subject.

One of the best tips I've ever gotten is to always be very aware of my background. With these, you can place them just about anywhere and shoot from whatever angle you'd like, so choose a background that pleases you, even though it's going to be out of focus. #2 might have benefited if you had rotated the car and shot so the red surface on the table filled the background instead of just being on one side.

Of course, you can also play with the lighting. With such small subjects, you use a desk lamp at different angles and use paper or cloth to soften the light (just be careful not to start any fires). Multiple movable light sources (or some Al foil or pieces of paper as reflectors) are some other ideas to play with. #1 might have benefited from a reflector to the right of the camera to bring out more detail on the body, for example.

I have a whole collection of toys and other small items that I experiment with when I'm cooped up for weather or whatever reason. Not my most interesting shots, but I've learned tons about how to use focal length and aperture to my advantage.

Call me a geek, but I have amused myself for hours at a time taking shots of toys that I'll never show anyone. . .

Scott

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Old Dec 26, 2010, 10:59 AM   #5
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thanks for the tips and opinions!! i will give it a try later (if my kids will allow me to borrow the cars again )

very much appreciates it!
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Old Dec 26, 2010, 1:44 PM   #6
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Hey Mike, I find the first shot kind of interesting, although a touch more dof would help a bit, so would a ground surface that looked more like pavement.
It has the look of drifting around a corner at high speed.
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Old Dec 26, 2010, 1:53 PM   #7
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ok, the kids are asleep, so I stole one car!

Just trying around a little...but these are nicer i think. I used my tripod, lower iso and longer shutterspeed.

I experimented with the dof, the first one has aperture 5.6 and the last one has 11

I find both intresesting, next thing I am going to try is doing some white box (or perhaps put the car in the snow) and take some pix...
i will also try using a longer lens and isolate the subject that way...

more is coming!!
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Old Dec 26, 2010, 5:30 PM   #8
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The last one is very nice - I think you have got it now.
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Old Dec 26, 2010, 8:51 PM   #9
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Ditto. The DoF and the vignette effect make the last one much improved - I'd still work on the background though !
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Old Dec 26, 2010, 9:03 PM   #10
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Much better! White balance is a bit more yellow than I prefer in the first one, the last one is more to my liking. Backgrounds for small toys etc. are a complex topic all by itself.
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