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Santa Has Come Early....

Jen Reed

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Couple things you can do to help with the shake / blur.


Use the 50mm 1.4 as it is a prime lens with superior glass to the 55-250mm.


Try not shoot at 1.4 right off the bad, takes some practice, start at say aperture of 4.0


After you meter your photo set for exposure be sure your shutter speed is above at least 60 to start, as you get practice you can lower this but with a lens that does not have IS you will get some blurry photos due to shake.


With a Aperture of 4 and shutter speed above 60 ISO could be set to auto and probably be 400-800 and should result in good range of settings.


Big important step is to also make sure the camera is set to Single Auto Focus point (The middle one), if you have all 9 points your letting the camera determine where to focus and that is not what you want.


With single point focus focus on the eyes and then re-compose your shot, then shoot. (Another big advantage to the back button focus I mentioned earlier)


I will look through the photos more, I would shoot by a window etc to give you good lighting, start with all that capture great photos to feel good about your camera and then start lowering the aperture to 2.8, 1.4 is extremely good for getting light in low light and nice blur but more difficult to shoot at.




Thanks so much for typing all this out trying to help me. :) I really appreciate it! I will try what you say. I had my ISO way up last night because the photos were so dark. So I'll keep it at 400-800 and see how it goes.


All those photos were with 50mm lens. I tried the 55-250 for a few distance shots but found it even more difficult in the low light so I figured I'd come back to that lens when I can shoot better in general.


The one part you lost me on was this


After you meter your photo set for exposure


Umm... English, please? hit-head-with-hammer.gif lol! Did you just mean set the aperture or were you referring to something else?

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On portrait shots I'm learning to not rely on auto focus, to manually focus. It takes practice to get the manual settings just right. When first going off auto, sometimes its good to start in program mode or aperture priority rather than full manual. Let the camera do a little of the work for you. I sort of made up a little checklist....set the white balance, set the ISO, set the aperture, etc. When I got in the habit of thinking of all those things, doing them in the same order each time, my percentage of "keepers" started going up. Your first pics show that with practice you'll be getting spectacular photos in no time.

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Sandi makes an excellent point to Shoot AV (Aperture Priority) or TV (Shutter Priority) and work with half the settings for starters. There is always a time for manual and knowing how to use it when you need is a big plus.


Here is how I generally approach a photo.


Aperture Priority Mode (AV) :


** Used when I want a nice blurred background, faster shoot time so I don't have time to adjust manual settings for every shot (My most used mode)


Item's I do in my head and then set the camera...


1) I generally like low ISO photos so there not grainy so I keep around 400 or less (Keep in mind you can easily do 800 or higher and get great photos as well (generally i'm probably set to AUTO and watch how high it goes)

2) How much Blur do I want in the photo - Lots I go with about 2.8, if there is more than one person and I don't want a blurred face on a 2nd subject at least 4.0

3) Meter your photo (1/2 press shutter button, or if you are using the AF-ON for back button focus) and check your shutter speed that is calculated... With a NON IS lens try to be "atleast" over 50 if you shake you want to be higher until your comfortable


If your happy with the shutter speed "Shoot away", if it's too low you need to go to a larger aperture like 2.8 or 1.4 for more light as ISO on auto will already be up to 3200 which I find too high.


Lastly, if your shutter speed is still to slow and your scared of blurry photos from shake (switch to TV "Shutter Pirority Mode")


Shutter Priority Mode (TV) :


** Used when you want a motion shot, stop motion, or low light situations to force a set shutter speed


1) Again I leave ISO to Auto and watch if it starts to go to high

2) If i'm going for motion I would go lower IE 1/4" to 20th of a second for slow subjects, 40-60 for walking, and 80-higher for stopping action of faster subjects (general starter i'm just throwing this out there)

## If i'm indoors I will use TV mode to force shutter speed to 60 as an example and let Aperture and ISO fall where they may as a sharp photo is what i'm after, if the light is still too dark, slow the shutter speed to let in more light

3) Meter your photo (same method as above) and check your Aperture if it's what your after IE 2.8 for Blur, 4 - 5.6 for little blur and little sharpness overall, and 8 or higher for detail just shoot it and forget it.


If your happy with the Aperture "Shoot Away", if it's too low and you are doing a group shot you need a higher aperture also so your in a bind and have to lower your shutter speed so you can increase your Aperture to a smaller size like 4 or 5.6 etc


Manual Mode (M) :


** Used when I want 'complete' control over the photo and have time to adjust the settings like Portraits, Water shots like streams etc, landscape


1) Set ISO to your liking, with good light I will keep it at 100 - 400 ISO

2) Set my Shutter Speed - 30 - 60 atleast or else use a tripod, higher depending on the motion i'm trying to stop

3) Set my Aperture - for blur larger sizes like 1.4 - 4 (Portraits) Sharper Detail 5.6 - 8 (More than one subject) Detail for Everything 8 or higher (Landscapes)

4) Meter your photo (Same as above) and look at your meter 3..2..1..0..1..2..3

You will then have to adjust your shutter speed or aperture to bring to a correct exposure (zero setting) and review your settings. If everything is still good "Shoot Away"


If you adjust for correct exposure and shutter is too slow you need to use a tripod, larger aperture, or higher ISO for more light

If you adjust for correct exposure and Aperture is too large or too small you need to adjust shutter speed or ISO


If you can't get the settings for the shot you need to move to more light etc until you have an area that will work.


I've never really put my process on paper before, I'm no expert by any means and would never claim this is perfect but I know it works for me. Any questions let me know I hope it helps.


Finally, Try AV and TV mode first, shoot full manual when the scene calls for it and you have time to set the camera for it. Don't frustrate yourself and enjoy your new camera.


Good Luck!

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Jen I just realized that you got the lens I am requesting from Santa this year (the 50mm 1.4). Let me know your reviews!


I'm enjoying reading Vince's helpful hints and making notes! I'm so going to ready for the next camera club meeting!

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'm catching up on some old emails and just found this post.


Lucky you!


I got my first non-kit lens for my Rebel T1i finally, the 50mm 1.4, for Christmas. Well, I almost have it. He ordered it just a couple of days ahead of time.


I use aperture priority the most, but I've been having more success with completely manual shooting recently.


Happy shooting!

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