BetterPhoto Q&A
Category: New Questions

Photography Question 
Susan Robertson
 

Noisy & soft images


 
  Couple
Couple
ISO 400 f/3.5 @1250 flash fired
Canon 30D

© Susan Robertson
Canon EOS D30 Digi...
 
 
Hi, I am a portrait photographer and I have a consistent problem of having my group shots quite noisy and not very sharp. My couple shots are sharp. I will up load two taken same time, same light, same ISO, same lens, etc. for your viewing pleasure. If you have any solutions...please help! Thanks, Susan Robertson


To love this question, log in above
6/3/2008 12:33:39 PM

 
Mark Feldstein
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/17/2005
  YIKES !!! Susan it looks like the building is falling down with those 4x4 supports falling on either side. RUN !! FLEE !! DUCK !!

Also, your lighting is a tad hot and your focus doesn't look too sharp in those two individuals you shot from the larger group. Could be my monitor, though, a 1958 Philco b&w.

Get a level for your tripod or camera and diffuse your lighting or maybe try shooting half to 3/4 of a stop less hot.
M.


To love this comment, log in above
6/3/2008 4:49:45 PM

 
Alan N. Marcus   Hi Susan,

I donít consider myself skilled enough to come up with a sure-fire answer but I will venture a guess. First your posted numbers donít make sense. I think you are not writing the shutter speeds as presented and using too slow a shutter speed fouls the group shot.

Further, I think the exposing light used to take the two pictures, chiefly consisted of ambient light. I think the flash contributed little, as to illumination.

Likely the couple shot was taken at 1/250 second (one two-fiftieth of a second) @ f/3.5. Thatís a respectable shutter speed -- meaning one can hand-hold a camera at 1/250 second shutter speed and get reasonably sharp pictures. Also the aperture was wide so you received little assistance from depth-of-field, nevertheless the image is sharp.

On the other hand, you state, the group was taken at 250 @ f/8. That doesnít make sense! I think it would be impossible for you to close down the aperture to f/8 (thatís 3 1/2 stops) and not have the camera compensate by slowing down the shutter speed. Thus I think the group shot was exposed at f/8 using a shutter speed of 1/25 second (you need to know that I have been wrong more than 100,000 times in my life). However, if I am right, the group shot is not noticeably noisy nor is it out-of-focus, just blurred due to the use of too slow a shutter speed. So slow that few can canít hand-hold at that speed, without practice and lots of luck.

The countermeasure is to use shutter priority, setting a shutter speed high enough to ensure blur doesnít creep in or use a tripod. No tripod, I suggest setting 1/125 or maybe 1/60 as the low end speed to avoid handshake blur.

Likely others, more skilled than I will better answer your question.

Alan Marcus (marginal technical gobbledygook)
ammarcus@eaerthlink.net


To love this comment, log in above
6/3/2008 5:25:28 PM

 
Log in to respond or ask your own question.