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Photography Question 
Sara H. Robinson
 

Help on portrait sessions


Help I am having a problem when taking pictures of people. Some of the pictures are a little blurry probably because I wasn't stable. Also, I think I rush through the pictures too fast. If there is anyone with some advice about this it would be very much appreciated. Thanks Sara


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7/13/2006 2:12:05 PM

 
Kerry L. Walker   Use a tripod. It will not only stabilize the camera but also force you to slow down.


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7/13/2006 2:16:41 PM

 
Oliver Anderson
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/16/2004
  I think Kerry is right about tripod but buy a remote shutter switch as well otherwise you'll shake the camera when you press the button... I'm having my camera hooked up to my Clapper to avoid camera shake...it's gonna be great to clap through all those photoshoots.


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7/13/2006 3:03:20 PM

 
Kerry L. Walker   For old folks like me with old cameras like mine, that remote shotter switch is called a screw-in calble release. LOL You can also use the camera's self timer if you don't have a remote.


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7/13/2006 3:06:15 PM

 
Bob Fately   Sara, there are a couple of issues to consider - you don't say what kind of situations you have when you take these people pictures so I'll mention a few things:

First, you say the photos are blurry and assume it was due to your motion, but is it possible the motion of the subject is also an issue? This is the other source of motion blur - if you use too show a shutter speed (what constituted "too slow" depends on a number of variables) then even with the camera on a tripod if the subject is moving quickly enough his own movement will become blurred in the shot.

That said, the tripod idea is an excellent one. Even if you increaase the shutter speed or use flash or whatever to eliminate the issue of motion blur, having the camera away from your face and firing the shutter witha release gives you an entirely different dynamic interaction with the subject. People are less self-conscious when talking to you face to face then when you are hidden behind a camera. Of course, this presumes that you sit or stand your subjects in a ceratin position - remote release isn't very helpful in a sports situation when you have to constantly re-aim.

The other possible source of blur, of course, is focus. If you're using auto-focus, is is possible that the auto mechanism is zoning in on the wrong area? I know it's a longer shot, but I figured to mention it.

Perhaps if you give us more details (or maybe an example) we can help more.


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7/13/2006 4:37:08 PM

 
Sara H. Robinson  
 
 
Thank you so much for your help. The types of shoots I am talking about is taking senior pictures or family pictures, children etc. For the most part the subjects are not moving too much. I'll upload some pictures to illustrate. The first one was in focus and the second was not. I used ISO 100 and the focus point was her eyes in autofocus mode. I also have another little question I am just starting out and wonder if using a tripod make it hard when taking pictures to get at different angles and move (like when taking pictures of young children)?


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7/14/2006 4:42:22 AM

 
Sara H. Robinson  
 
 
I am not sure how to upload here but they are in my gallery titled in focus and a little out of focus
thanks


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7/14/2006 4:46:31 AM

 
Bob Fately   Sara, it's hard to tell on a compuer screen, but it seems to me motion is not the cause of the blur - it looks more like a focus issue.

As to why, this I cannot say. If the shots were taken in quick succession, maybe the auto-focus slightly altered the lens' position between shots? If that's the case, I think it would imply something's wrong, but unless you accidentally hit a button or control I don't know what else might cause this.

Perhaps taking some test shots using a tripod (so you know it isn't your movement) and a remote release (so you can't accidentally hit something else) on a still subject would be the next thing to do. If these shots were taken in rapid sequence, then repeat that from the tripod as well.


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7/14/2006 7:01:34 AM

 
Robyn Gwilt
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/15/2005
  Sarah, I see we're shooting with the same camera. I'm using a 580 EX flash, and have sync'd it to 1/60s, problem is indoors, I'm down to F4.5, which, if I'm shooting quickly, and have more than one person in the pic, I'm also landing up with blur/softness. Any suggestions, (using a tripod is not always the solution for me, lack of space/spontaneity etc). Should I sync my flash at 1/200?, will this allow me to up my F stop - in which case, Sarah, you might find this helps.


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7/14/2006 12:03:54 PM

 
Robyn Gwilt
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/15/2005
  I've just looked at your gallery, and left a comment on each one. You also don't mention if you're sharpening in PS or another editing programme?


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7/14/2006 12:09:19 PM

 
Sara H. Robinson   No I did not use any PS on my pictures and really I am just learning all ins and outs of photography so really I have no suggestions.


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7/14/2006 3:04:45 PM

 
Bob Fately   Robyn & Sara, the fact that Robyn is finding the same issue might point to a systemic problem with that camera model.

It might be worthwhile to do the test I described - mount on tripod, remote release, take a quick sucession of shots to see if the auto-focue somehow "drifts".


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7/14/2006 3:09:05 PM

 
Robyn Gwilt
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/15/2005
  Thanks Bob will try that - Oliver, what on earth is a clapper??


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7/15/2006 5:20:42 AM

 
Bob Fately   Robyn, I think Oliver is referring to that device that turns lights on and off when you clap you hands - you know, as advertised on late night TV 20+ years ago (though I have seen the ad again recently).

Which, of course, is more like a joke, since you can't possibly get your "clap timing" just right to get that perfect shot...


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7/15/2006 5:40:48 AM

 
Bob Fately   Robyn, I think Oliver is referring to that device that turns lights on and off when you clap you hands - you know, as advertised on late night TV 20+ years ago (though I have seen the ad again recently).

Which, of course, is more like a joke, since you can't possibly get your "clap timing" just right to get that perfect shot...


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7/15/2006 5:40:57 AM

 
Bob Fately   Robyn, I think Oliver is referring to that device that turns lights on and off when you clap you hands - you know, as advertised on late night TV 20+ years ago (though I have seen the ad again recently).

Which, of course, is more like a joke, since you can't possibly get your "clap timing" just right to get that perfect shot...


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7/15/2006 5:41:34 AM

 
Bob Fately   Robyn, I think Oliver is referring to that device that turns lights on and off when you clap you hands - you know, as advertised on late night TV 20+ years ago (though I have seen the ad again recently).

Which, of course, is more like a joke, since you can't possibly get your "clap timing" just right to get that perfect shot...


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7/15/2006 5:47:59 AM

 
Oliver Anderson
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/16/2004
  Robyn, Bob is correct...it was an attempt at some humor yet funny enough to garner 4 of the same responses from Bob. I was photographing at Huntington Library in Pasadena and this guy had a tripod set up photographing a pond with ducks but everytime he clicks the shutter with his finger I'm watching the camera move and thinking to myself...What a Dumb4$$, one of the reasons to use a tripod is to provide a stable base for your camera and his is shaking with every exposure...it was a waste.


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7/15/2006 11:32:00 AM

 
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