New Hobby

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Re: New Hobby

Postby quantus » Mon Jan 11, 2010 11:07 pm

Nice pictures. I voted for your friend. That bench in the foreground glows kinda eerily.
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Re: New Hobby

Postby Jonathan » Sun Feb 21, 2010 7:58 am

http://jonathan.pearce.name/gallery/v/p ... _.jpg.html

Here I'm deliberately breaking the rules and going for a washed-out skin tone (but not overexposed). I can't decide if I unsharp masked my face too much.

Edit: I redid the picture with sharpening around the eyes, lips, and hair only. Nothing on the cheeks, because facial hair plus sharpening equals yikes. Nobody cares but me.
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Re: New Hobby

Postby Jonathan » Sun Feb 21, 2010 8:02 am

Alan, are you vignetting digitally?

For some reason I really like the picture of the girl even though the Dublin guy is the better photo.
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Re: New Hobby

Postby Alan » Sun Feb 21, 2010 12:06 pm

Yep digital vignetting. All my recent photos have been taken with my iPhone because my camera is still broken and I haven't gotten around to getting it repaired.

I use this app:

http://www.thebestcamera.com/

"The girl" is my sister. Haha.
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Re: New Hobby

Postby Jonathan » Wed Apr 28, 2010 11:39 pm

http://jonathan.pearce.name/gallery/v/p ... 7.jpg.html

Took a few pictures at my cousin's wedding. This one is the only one worth sharing if you don't know my family. It's special because my aunt has a nice smile in this picture. Trust me, that's not easy.
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Re: New Hobby

Postby Jonathan » Fri Oct 01, 2010 4:36 pm

http://jonathan.pearce.name/gallery/v/pearce/europe/

I went ahead and put the pictures of me up already, because that's what the people want.

http://jonathan.pearce.name/gallery/v/p ... pe/milan2/

I'm also more or less done with Milan. Venice is next.

A friend lent me his 80-200 4.5-5.6 for the trip. I did get one extraordinarily lucky shot of a sunbather outside Château de Chillon with it, so it was definitely worth lugging around. And one should never forget The Man, who I also captured with the long lens.
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Re: New Hobby

Postby Jonathan » Sun Oct 03, 2010 7:24 pm

http://jonathan.pearce.name/gallery/v/p ... e/venice2/

That's the cream of Venice. I might add one or two more in the next week.
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Re: New Hobby

Postby Alan » Mon Oct 04, 2010 1:08 am

Where's the sunbather?

Clearly that is the most important photo you took.
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Re: New Hobby

Postby Jonathan » Fri Oct 15, 2010 5:19 am

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Still haven't gotten to Montreux yet, but since you asked so nicely, I uploaded it specially for you.
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Re: New Hobby

Postby Alan » Fri Oct 15, 2010 11:29 pm

Did she know you were there?
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Re: New Hobby

Postby Jonathan » Fri Oct 15, 2010 11:55 pm

Am I a ninja?

No.

Did we talk?

Also no.

With all the pictures I took of strangers, I decided it is better to ask forgiveness than permission especially since I did not want anything posed.
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Re: New Hobby

Postby Jonathan » Mon Mar 07, 2011 9:41 pm

http://www.wweek.com/portland/event-491 ... tland.html - it had to happen sometime. A whole show of iphone snaps.

My damn computer won't mount my camera, so I am somewhat behind on posting pictures.
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Re: New Hobby

Postby Jonathan » Sun May 15, 2011 8:34 pm

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Re: New Hobby

Postby Jonathan » Thu May 19, 2011 10:43 pm

I want to say a word about sharpness and this is as good a place to do it as any.

There are five problems affecting sharpness: camera motion, target motion, depth of field, focus, and optics. One corrects motion using shutter speed, depth of field using aperture, and focus with skill or AF. One corrects problems with optics using aperture (or, more broadly, cash). Lack of light limits your ability to compensate for the five problems. One corrects lack of light using ISO (or flash, assuming you don't mind blinding your brother-in-law when you want to take his picture). Increasing ISO means adding grain or noise to your image, which is a different kind of degradation of image quality but still a degradation.

My digital camera has Auto-ISO. I think the algorithm used is common in most digital cameras: Ratchet up shutter speed and aperture until they hit their maximums (dictated by the user and by the lens, respectively), then raise ISO to compensate for the exposure problems until it hits its max (dictated by user or camera). I usually shoot this way, with a base ISO of 200 and a max ISO of 1600.

Lately, the way I shoot has been bothering me. I am not particularly talented at shooting hand-held with minimal camera motion. At 1/40s I rarely get any image without camera motion shooting with my 50 mm lens (on a DX body, 75mm effective). I set the minimum shutter speed to 1/80s or even 1/100s, which is in line with the rule of thumb that you shoot a shutter speed which is the reciprocal of your focal length. I let the Auto-ISO do its work, and I get shots like Josh above or Catriona here.

In both of these images, the camera is shooting at 200 ISO (or close to it), while wide open and at the longest permissible shutter speed. My camera is capable of delivering excellent results up to 800 ISO and usable images up to 1200 ISO. Above that level, the noise cannot be ignored, even with post-processing, but I don't really have a lot of options in those conditions.

For the two pictures I highlighted, I think I would like them more if they were shot at 800 with a depth of field large enough to cover the entire face. Going to 800 is free, but lighting conditions or compositions outside that range that make me wonder. I can only choose a base ISO which is a power of 2 multiplied by 100. The Auto-ISO can pick in-between values, though, so if 1200 is enough it won't go all the way to 1600. It is possible that I and others would prefer the images shot at 1600 with the additional sharpness afforded by that ISO, and then compensatory post-processing to reduce the impact of the added noise. It is absolutely the case whenever I've shot in dim conditions with terrible sharpness and too much noise, I find the lack of sharpness bothers me much more than the noise: see Eleanor, my father & siblings, or Kyle & Linda. Looking back, I wish I had shot all of these at 3200 ISO, because the noise doesn't bother me nearly as much as the lack of sharpness. Perhaps I should shoot at 1600 ISO base when I am indoors.
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Re: New Hobby

Postby Alan » Fri May 20, 2011 9:45 pm

My rule of thumb with ISO was always something like:

100: bright outdoors sunny
200: outdoors cloudy
400: indoors well lit
800: indoors suboptimally lit

My Sony A100 was pretty noisy at 800+, and at 1600 images were only usable if I converted them to B&W and purposely went for a grainy look.

In terms of shooting technique, I cupped the lens in my left hand, with my upper left arm pressed completely against my body, and snapped the photo after exhaling completely and holding my breath until I finished shooting. With the IS and using burst mode I could usually get at least one sharp image out of 4 or 5 when shooting 2-3 stops beyond the reciprocal length (using the actual lens length though rather than the crop length, so ~1/15 with a 50 mm - I'm pretty sure the 1/focal length rule is based on the lens's focal length without the sensor crop factor taken into account).

I guess that's one tip I'd have - if you aren't already doing it always shoot using burst mode when you're in low light. Or actually, always in any situation.

Also, if you shoot a lot of portraits (and it seems like you do) I'd strongly recommend investing in a tripod and flash system.

In other news, my A100 is no longer worth getting repaired. And they don't make parts for my nonfunctioning primary lens. So I'm in the market for a new camera.
Last edited by Alan on Fri May 20, 2011 10:52 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: New Hobby

Postby Alan » Fri May 20, 2011 10:11 pm

Actually looking at the last 3 images again, they look soft rather than blurred, which to me suggests that the problem was the autofocus rather than camera shake.
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Re: New Hobby

Postby Alan » Fri May 20, 2011 10:27 pm

And I almost always shoot in aperture priority. I prefer controlling the depth of field over setting the shutter speed, since I can usually gain a couple stops with the IS.

And keep in mind that DSLRs typically do better with shadows than highlights. So I typically shoot at EV -1/3 or -2/3 and recover it in post-processing, which allows me to shoot at higher shutter speeds for the available light to reduce effects of camera shake.
Last edited by Alan on Fri May 20, 2011 10:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: New Hobby

Postby Alan » Fri May 20, 2011 10:44 pm

Examples:

50mm lens, ISO 200, f/2.8, 1/25
http://www.flickr.com/photos/eninala/42 ... 005979970/

Zoom lens @ 70 mm, ISO 400, f/8, 1/15
http://www.flickr.com/photos/eninala/21 ... 3616767737

Zoom lens @ 26 mm, ISO 400, f/5.6, 1/10
http://www.flickr.com/photos/eninala/29 ... 8097610641

Zoom lens @ 26 mm, ISO 400, f/3.5, 1/10
http://www.flickr.com/photos/eninala/29 ... 8097610641

Zoom lens @ 70 mm, ISO 200, f/4.5, 1/25
http://www.flickr.com/photos/eninala/29 ... 8097610641
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Re: New Hobby

Postby Alan » Fri May 20, 2011 10:58 pm

This is the camera I'm looking at with interest. Probably won't get anything until after July when I get a $15k raise.

http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/sonyslta55/
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Re: New Hobby

Postby Jonathan » Fri May 20, 2011 11:54 pm

Blah, leechblock ate my post. I shoot down a third or two usually (but not at that wedding, which was dumb), I don't have IS and maybe need to rethink that, but I do want to be able to get a sharp picture of laughter, like Eleanor or me. Also babies.
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