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First Attempt

Discussion in 'Appraisal Gallery' started by Davidjsch, Nov 10, 2020.

  1. Davidjsch

    Davidjsch Member

    Hi Everyone,

    so I have taken the first steps in my new hobby and wanted to share one image for your critique.
    My equipment is a Canon 500D with Sigma 18-200 lens.
    This image was taken on AV - but only as a jpeg. I found that my SD card is far too slow to accept Raw images so I've ordered a new one which hopefully will save them much faster. Using the card I had would only save 2 images before crashing....:(

    Anyway this image is a tentative step - I've endeavoured to capture the mosquito whilst blurring the background... What do you think?

    Original image details before making it small enough to go on here

    F Stop = F5
    Exposure time = 1/40th
    ISO = 200
    Metering = Patterned

    Here it is .....
    Thanking you in advance ....:)

  2. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    Hi David,

    Strange about the card, what on earth is it? The camera buffer will fill during burst shooting, and this happens more quickly with a slow card but two images is ridiculous! The camera manual will give minimum card specifications. You can download the manual from Canon.

    This garden sculpture is going to be difficult to take a clean picture of because it is so open in structure and the background is, frankly, an utter mess. I’m guessing that there probably isn’t an angle that gets it against the sky so that there is no distraction behind it.

    One of the first photography “lessons” is to learn how to look at the whole picture, not just the bit in the middle where the focus point is. The usual example is people shots where folk are standing in front of drainpipes. Drainpipes are something the mind will discard, they are common, part of every house and you don’t “see” them, that is until the photograph shows the person with a pipe coming out the top of their head!

    You’ll come across “throw the background out of focus” as a piece of advice but this won’t work when the background has intrusive colours and here you need a good depth of field to capture the dragonfly’s body. For something very small, like a flower people sometimes put a false background in, like black card or cloth but that won’t work on this scale. The only way I can think to separate it is using artificial light, which means working towards dark and lighting the sculpture by flash or small LED torch - which is a lot of messing about - unless it is your sculpture to play with at length.
    cliveva and Davidjsch like this.
  3. RovingMike

    RovingMike Crucifixion's a doddle...

    Hi, good points from Pete.

    Since you seem to have been trying out losing the background, I have to agree it was a bit of a lost cause in this case, but it could have been better. I'm assuming you could have used either a wider aperture on the lens, or a longer focal length? Either would have helped. You might have needed a tripod though.

    I also think that a higher angle to get that ugly building out of the shot might have worked better, or hold it up[ against the sky as Pete suggests. The light is poor, which is flattening the whole thing. Better light would have helped with aperture and shutter speed. I'm not sure matrix metering is appropriate here, as you really couldn't care about exposing the background and that is also helping to flatten it off. I'd go for centre or even spot on the purple bit.

    If you wanted a nice shot of the bug, then cleaning off the cobwebs would have been good, but maybe they make an alternative shot?
    Davidjsch likes this.
  4. Geren

    Geren Well-Known Member

    Hi David,

    I love that the spider's web is so clear (much as I hate them) but yes, Pete is right, the background is quite intrusive.

    I am not familiar with the lens you are using but I believe you could have gone wider in terms of both aperture and focal length, and got closer. Both these things would have increased the effect of a shallow depth of field. I hear what Pete is saying about needing a good depth of field to capture all of the body here but you need to ask yourself the question before you press the shutter - what's the important part of the image? Is it actually necessary to have the whole of the body sharp, or is the important part the wing with the web? (It is for me. Might be different for you.)

    One thing you can try with the image you got, is a quick crop to remove some of the background.


    The next thing would be to haul that bamboo stake out of the ground and position it somewhere else. Or you could get yourself on a step stool and photograph it from a different angle so that it was all greenery behind it and not a jumble of architecture.

    To successfully throw out a background you need the subject to be as far away from the background as you can and you need to be as close to the subject as you can while still being able to achieve focus. It takes a bit of trial and error but the take away here is that using a wide aperture on its own isn't enough. You are using a zoom lens so you can use it at the wider end and move much closer to the subject. Doing so will introduce some visual distortion so it's up to you decide how much of that you find acceptable. Experiment with how close you can be and what angle you shoot from and you've got the makings of an interesting image here I think.
    Davidjsch likes this.
  5. Davidjsch

    Davidjsch Member

    Hi @PeteRob
    Thanks for your prompt reply ....:)

    Don't think I explained myself correctly. Taking pictures in Raw with my old sd card (Class 4) produced a significant time lapse between pressing the shutter and the image being processed to the card. Today I ran a test so I might explain better .... Outside I took 10 random photos one after another and timed how long it took before the red light went out and the number of images left to take stopped flashing. - This took 5 mins 23 seconds.......:(

    I went onto ScanDisk site to check transfer rates. My old SD Card is a Standard Line (Class 4) , and they will not confirm a transfer rate! But looking at the other options they list I thought the top of the range Extreme Pro (Class 10) might be the one to go for.

    Then I found this site .....

    Great advice for my 500D. They confirm the Extreme Pro, which I have now ordered... so will report back once I've ran the same test.

    BTY the camera's manual does not offer advice regarding transfer rate, well they do for Movies; saying to use at least a Class 6.

    Beauty is - they say - in the eye of the beholder....:cool: and have to say I love the image I've put up here... In particular the background ... after-all they're my raspberry canes you're dishing .....:D
    I'm not too happy with the bluring of the background - need more work I feel..

    But hey ... thanks for you input .....:)
  6. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    Class 10 is what you need. Doesn’t have to be the fastest of the fast for stills. To be honest I thought they were all class 10 these days, but I’m not up on the market. I only buy cards when I buy a camera - they go in and stay there.
    Davidjsch likes this.
  7. cliveva

    cliveva Well-Known Member

    I know you have ordered one, but even so,....... I think of the memory card as film, if you felt rich you would load an expensive film, now I always have an expensive film loaded. Buy the best you can, I have only upgraded once because memory size prices have fallen so much,I.e. 32gig to 128gig, first bought 8 years ago, last this year ,for about the same price. If I had been using film ,the cost of the first year paid for it. It will go in your next camera as well!
    Davidjsch likes this.

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