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My 1st time shooting...
Old 03-22-2009, 04:20 PM   #1 (permalink)
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I literally just picked up a camera about a week ago and these are my 1st shots. Any help on techniques would be much appreciated.

The 1st photo is the original and the 2nd is modified by my girlfriend.
One quick question to get this started, how do go about shooting like the 2nd photo?




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Re: My 1st time shooting...
Old 03-23-2009, 12:12 AM   #2 (permalink)
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First off, I like your username.

Secondly, when using clothes like this, watch out for bunched up folds of skin like on her back here. That's the first thing that stood out to me.

Third, if you wanna shoot in camera closer to the second image, you're gonna need a large light source, set far enough away to throw light evenly on both the model and the wall she's leaning up against.

As an example, here's an unedited photo (other than removing the dust spots from a dirty sensor )...



Here the wall is approaching white all over, but I wasn't able to pull it back far enough in my small apartment for it to spread completely evenly (so I adjusted the curves slightly after the fact to make the whole thing white). Also, in this case I wasn't using a large, soft light source, but a small, harsh one.

Also, make sure your white balance is set properly. Looks like (and correct me if I'm wrong) you were using tungsten lights and a daylight white balance. Having your white balance set for the lighting you're using will help to make your white background look, well, white.

Or... You could just give your shot more exposure, but that'd make your model brighter, too. In this case, that would help too, as it looks to me that your original shot is underexposed slightly.

And finally... keep shooting!
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Re: My 1st time shooting...
Old 03-23-2009, 12:14 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks for your input Sam...

my username is the very affectionate name I use for my girlfriend... obviously not in front of her!

Only noticed the folds after you pointed them out, but now you have, I do seem to focus on them when I look at the shot again.

I was trying to pore as much light into the frame as possible but it still wasn't bright enough.
The camera's a Canon EOS 40D with a 28-135mm lens. The settings where left all auto and on "portrait mode"

Looking at the picture properties of that picture I have: f/4, 1/60 sec., ISO-400

These are from the same light setup and again these are different:




Not too sure where I'm going wrong?

Have tried changing the setting on the Canon from auto, but now I'm getting seriously overexposed shots.

We're going to have a try again later, I'll post some of the results.

Cheers
--Mark
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Re: My 1st time shooting...
Old 03-23-2009, 04:11 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
my username is the very affectionate name I use for my girlfriend... obviously not in front of her!
LOL

Quote:
I was trying to pore as much light into the frame as possible but it still wasn't bright enough.
Remember to keep in mind though that it's not exactly about how much light you throw at a scene, it's the amount of exposure you give to the shot.

Quote:
The settings where left all auto...
That's your problem right there. None of the auto settings will give you the creative freedom you need as putting the camera on manual will. Sorry if this is something you already know, but in case not, your camera's meter tries to put everything to middle gray. If you meter a white wall in auto mode, when you shoot your image, it'll look gray.

Because of all the white in the background, your camera is giving it less exposure than what you're wanting. Be sure to look at your histogram to check your exposure, too.

One thing you can try, assuming you're using continuous lighting. I could get into detail about this 'cause I'm a nerd, but an easy way to get a good starting exposure is this. Zoom in on just her face so that it fills the frame. In manual mode, change the f-stop/shutter settings until the meter says it's properly exposed. Now zoom out and start shooting like normal. You might want to adjust a little bit, but that should start you off pretty well.
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Re: My 1st time shooting...
Old 03-23-2009, 08:56 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Only picked the camera up last week and I was too afraid to leave auto


Have just spent the better half of 2hrs playing around with the manual settings, and things are starting to come together now...

Although she's living up to her pet name quite well...




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Re: My 1st time shooting...
Old 03-24-2009, 12:42 PM   #6 (permalink)
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...and this was the last one of the night:


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Re: My 1st time shooting...
Old 03-24-2009, 01:40 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Now your on the right track! And I think your going to be great at this.
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Re: My 1st time shooting...
Old 03-25-2009, 09:29 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Thanks for your comments and words of encouragement.

Sam, I was a bit caught up in working out where I'd gone wrong to properly appreciate your picture. I really like it!

Have started playing a bit more with the exposure settings as suggested and these are the results:



Hmmm...although the original photos are looking much better than once I've uploaded them to here..


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Re: My 1st time shooting...
Old 03-27-2009, 05:13 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Keep shooting and you're so lucky to have an "in house" model such as she!
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Re: My 1st time shooting...
Old 03-28-2009, 10:24 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cifcap View Post
Keep shooting and you're so lucky to have an "in house" model such as she!
Agreed. I wish I had some willing in-house talent
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