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Photography QnA: Problems with Images

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Category: What's Wrong With My Photographic Technique? : Problems with Images

Have questions regarding resizing photos for websites? How about taking pictures without shadows? Check this section out to find some answers.

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Photography Question 
Tom R. Fleeman

member since: 4/26/2010
  51 .  Polarizing Filter
I had a UV filter on my camera and shot 35 images that came out OK. I then added a polarizing filter, and all the rest of about 800 shots of baseball game were soft out out of focus. Should I have only used the polarizer without the UV filter still on camera?? Thanks.

7/2/2011 5:30:01 AM

Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member
gregorylagrange.org

member since: 11/11/2003
  It might be that you actually should have not used the polarizer at all, if you were trying to use auto focus. There's a linear polarized filter and a circular polarized filter. The circular allows the use of auto focus.
And it could also be that having more than one filter got in the way of your auto focus, if that's what you used. Or the polarizer could be of low quality optically, causing fuzzy images.

7/2/2011 9:35:26 AM

  Hi Tom,
Greg is correct and another point I would like to make is the quality of filters used. I have all L glass and placing a $40 UV filter in front of a $2000 lens that will most likely degrade sharpness and image quality doesn't make sense to me. I use B+W filters which are a bit pricey but they are very good quality and cheaper than the Singh Ray filters. I only use UV filters when it is hazy out and circular polarizers when shooting landscape images of dark scenes and waterfalls. Otherwise, I don't use them at all - not even for protection as I always have either a lens cap on while walking around or lens hood attached when shooting.
Hope this helps.

7/2/2011 8:30:29 PM

Tom R. Fleeman

member since: 4/26/2010
  Thanks for the response. I have an expensive lens also. I was hoping the polarizer would help with the glare from the sun at a baseball game I was shooting. I think the filter was $65. I was hoping it would help. I will try it by itself next time without the other filter. Thanks.

7/3/2011 4:05:00 PM

  Hi Tom,
I didn't actually answer your question but I would not stack filters and I suspected you were using quality lenses which is why I gave you the answer I did. My 77mm B+W Circular Polarizer runs about $175 but it is well worth it and it fits all my lenses. Someday I will belly up the $400+ for a Singh Ray :)
Cheers.

7/3/2011 8:22:06 PM

Tom R. Fleeman

member since: 4/26/2010
  Hi Carlton,
When I get the chance I will try just the Polarizer and see what happens, not that in matters but I shoot with a Nikon D7000. I know you have to spend a little to get the quality, just tried to scrimp a litle. I just took a look at your gallery pretty nice , no Very nice. Well Thanks for the help I am sure we will talk again. Tom

7/4/2011 4:32:37 AM

  Other than checking to see if it's linear or circular, I would check to see if your shutter speed was too slow after adding the polarizer. A polarizer takes up two stops of light and if you weren't paying attention to that you may be seeing camera movement. Remember, your shutter speed needs to be at least 1 over the effective focal length of the lens. (Don't forget the multiplier if you're not shooting a full-frame camera.) I use Tiffen and Hoya and haven't had a problem. I rarely stack filters but I've never had it affect an image as you describe. Check your metadata. I think you will find the answer there.

7/4/2011 11:09:50 AM

Tom R. Fleeman

member since: 4/26/2010
 
 
  messed up
messed up
shutter priority,f/2.8, 1/1250, ISO 400 about 2:15PM.
 
 
Thanks Here is a photo to look at they all turned out just about like this one.

7/4/2011 12:20:55 PM

  Well, plenty of shutter speed so that's not the problem. You still haven't told us if it's a circular polarizer or not. That's all I can see that would do that. The stacking of the filters will not do that. You may see a slight difference in quality but you would have to pixel peep to notice it and it wouldn't come close to your problem. If your polarizer is circular, then make sure you didn't accidently put the camera or lens into manual focus. That has happened to some folks before. Other than those two additional things, I got nothing else off the top of my head.

7/4/2011 1:54:26 PM

Tom R. Fleeman

member since: 4/26/2010
  I'm sorry yes it is a circular filter. When I try it again I will be real sure it is on AF. I will try and get some shots this week to be sure. I haven't used it but that one time. I will when I get to some of the water shots I want to take. Nobody has said, will the polarizer help on sunny days shooting more toward the sun?. I know it is not a good idea to shoot toward the sun but I needed that angle to get some face shots of the right handed batters. Thanks Tom

7/4/2011 3:32:33 PM

  One thing I wondered about is if you were using a tripod, did you remember to turn the the Stabilizer off? Frankly, I'm not sure if that would cause the problem you experienced, but if everything else is correct, maybe it's time to look beyond the CP for answers.

7/5/2011 6:05:29 AM

Ken De Pree
BetterPhoto Member
Contact Ken
Ken's Gallery

member since: 5/15/2008
  Why were you shooting at f2.8? Is this what the camera selected as required to give you enough light.

I think that is why the fellow in the foreground is much sharper than the background. It is what you would expect when shooting with a telephoto lens at f2.8. Like doing a portrait.

If the camera thought it needed f2.8 to get enough light, maybe you need to consider other ways. What about ISO? Did you have it on automatic or 100? If 100, maybe you need to try a higher number or automatic so the camera has options besides f2.8.

7/5/2011 2:45:29 PM

  Just shooting at 2.8 will not cause the problem shown in the sample and it states it was at ISO 400. Shooting at 2.8 will isolate the subject, not make everything blurry. While these settings are not what I would have chosen, that's not the problem here.

7/5/2011 5:36:26 PM

  I don't know about Nikon but Canon recommends that you remove all other filters when using the CPL. The only exception to this is if you are using ND filters also and they go in front of the CPL.

Do check out your focus with the camera on a t-pod without a filter of any kind.

7/5/2011 6:57:32 PM

Tom R. Fleeman

member since: 4/26/2010
  Thanks to all, you guys are really helping me out. I will try to shoot some this week and see how it goes. I am still learning but getting better. I am taking the Sports Photography course from here starting today. I should have a good handle on what I need to set camera on after I finish. Thanks Tom

7/6/2011 4:52:51 AM

  Tom, I want to thank you for posing the question. The answers have also clarified things for me also (new to CPL usage.)

A special thanks to Carlton, who answers more questions from us members who are still learning. He isn't an official instructor but I'm betting that collectively, he's improved the photography skills of more people than anyone else at BP (not to diminish the value of taking the courses!)

7/6/2011 6:39:39 AM

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Photography Question 
Chuck Bruton
BetterPhoto Member
Contact Chuck
Chuck's Gallery

member since: 9/2/2007
  52 .  Key word tagging,or BP selection
I was browsing and found a category of transportation, cars, showing images of cars.

I have a large gallery of cars, but never saw one of my images listed in the pages.

What do I need to do to get them to show up.

Just wondering

6/23/2011 12:14:39 PM

Thomas W. Schoeller
BetterPhoto Member
SchoellerPhotos.com

member since: 12/4/2006
  Chuck, It sounds like you may have been viewing one of the BP "clubs" or groups. You would need to join that specific group to see your work displayed there.

Most of the members groups on BP are really pretty quiet. Not many uploads or activity, I've seen groups I uploaded to a year ago and I'm still on the first page.

6/26/2011 2:52:17 PM

  I know where you saw that as a category and what you found is a selection of photos that were entered into a monthly contest or possibly also from photo assignments from the varied courses given by BP. All the photos that fit the description are not placed here.

You cannot designate that you want it posted in this section. Your photos of cars or other transportation MUST be entered into a contest or be part of an assignment. Even the monthly winner may not be selected to be placed in this grouping. What goes in here is strictly up to Kerry Drapper(sp?) or his designate. How often do they add photos to these subsections? I don't know but most of them are from the first four years of the start of BP. Unless they find something that really stands out, and it may still be overlooked, your outstanding photo may not be selected to appear there for a year or never.

It appears to me that these sub sections are for inspiration and to inspire the new entrants creative juices to start flowing. And if it is selected I doubt that BP will notify you. However if you enter the monthly contest and receive a "Finalist" or "Photo of the day" or better you will be notified.


Lynn

PS: Remember that BP promised an update to the forum two years ago to allow us to edit these messages after they have been submitted in order to make corrections in spelling or leaving out words, etc. It hasn't happened yet.

7/4/2011 7:33:24 PM

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Photography Question 
Edna L. Salazar
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 3/18/2006
  53 .  Taking Pictures in a Church
I've been practicing taking pictures in the low light of a church and can't seem to get good color. My settings are ISO 1600, 1/125, f/2.8. and custom set my white balance using my on-camera flash. Does using the external flash make the difference???

5/18/2011 1:31:49 PM

  Hello Edna,
The flash will make a difference, but get a white balance card and this will allow you to set your custom white balance correctly. I bought a white balance target that came with a DVD from Photovision.
It's easy to do and a must to get correct colors when shooting :)
Hope this helps.

5/18/2011 2:12:52 PM

Edna L. Salazar
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 3/18/2006
  I also used an Expo Disc for white balance but those colors are coming out with a bluish hue. I'll try the card and compare the difference. Thank you!

5/18/2011 3:46:39 PM

  Edna, shooting in RAW will also help during post processing. You can tinker with the white balance in any RAW editing software.
UB.

5/19/2011 12:45:37 AM

Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member
gregorylagrange.org

member since: 11/11/2003
  Which parts of the pictures are off? 1600 with f/2.8 sounds like it might be a mixing of colors.
Are you getting the color you want for the foreground and orange tint for the background? Or are you getting a main subject that looks like good color (mostly white or light colored) but maybe some edges, slight ghosting, or darker parts that look orange?
And when you used the Expo Disk, did you balance for the lights in the room with the Expo Disk and then use the flash?

5/19/2011 2:03:49 PM

Nicholas Beck

member since: 10/30/2010
  Dear Edna, the problem is that you are illuminating the forefront with your flash on camera while leaving the background bathed in ambient, cooler light. The color temperature of your foreground illuminated by your flash is around 5200 to 5500K. The background, though, is a much different temperature, around 6000K to 7000K because it lacks any yellow and orange color from the sun. (Your flash acts as the sun, filling your illuminated forefront with yellow and orange.) Therefore the scene beyond the forefront will be recorded as bluish. Buying some slave flashes and illuminating the entire church would fix the problem or if you use Lightroom or similar photo processing you can fix it in post by locally changing the temperature within the scene. You can also buy some inexpensive used older flash units and some inexpensive light triggers such as Nisha Flash Slave units ($16) which will set off the flashes in manual mode. That would bring the background temperature to the same temperature as the foreground and fix your problem.

5/30/2011 1:31:19 PM

Ken De Pree
BetterPhoto Member
Contact Ken
Ken's Gallery

member since: 5/15/2008
 
 
 
The only time I took photos in a church, the light was poor. My solution was to bracket--getting one shot under exposed, one normal exposure and one over exposed--and processed the 3 with my HDR program.

Came out great. Much richer color than I could have gotten with one shot, even with flash.

5/30/2011 5:36:03 PM

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Photography Question 
Bud Ellison
BetterPhoto Member
Contact Bud
Bud's Gallery

member since: 7/19/2006
  54 .  Processing RAW Images From A Nikon D7000
Recently purchased a Nikon D7000 and tried to process RAW images with my Photoshop Elements 6. Of course, it didn't work as Elements 6 came out long before the D7000. I am looking for a "cost effective" software upgrade so that I can process the RAW images from the D7000. Thanks for any suggestions.

5/12/2011 7:57:03 AM

  Nikon View NX is a free program and should have come with your camera, or at least it used to. If you prefer working in Elements then use Adobe's dng convertor on the file and then process with Elements 6. That is a stop gap measure until you can save up and upgrade your Elements software.

5/15/2011 5:59:00 AM

Bud Ellison
BetterPhoto Member
Contact Bud
Bud's Gallery

member since: 7/19/2006
  Thank you very much for the information. It is much appreciated. I am going to follow you suggestion and upgrade to Elements 9.

Thanks again.

bud Ellison

5/15/2011 8:13:14 AM

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Photography Question 
Varun  Wadhwa

member since: 4/30/2011
  55 .  photography basics
What do these terms mean???
ISO,F-number,Focal length, aperture Exposure time,etc.

4/30/2011 1:27:27 AM

  Hello Varun,
ISO is a simulation of film speed so ISO 100 is less grainy (known as "noise" in the digital realm) than ISO 800 but sometimes you have to use a higher ISO setting to get the shutter speed (exposure time) or DOF (Depth of Field aka F-Stop) to capture the image the way you want to. Focal length is the lens measurement and there are fixed lengths (also called Prime lenses) such as a 24mm 50mm or 85mm and telephoto lenses like a 24-70mm or a 70-200mm which are adjustable with a zoom ring so you can zoom in and frame your shot while looking through the viewfinder.
Proper Exposure is the basis of all that IS Photography and you would really do yourself a huge favor if you signed up for Jim Zuckermans "Perfect Digital Exposure" class or one of the many other Exposure classes Better Photo offers. It will give you a solid foundation and take the mystery out of what these terms mean and teach you how to make it work more artistically so you can capture an image the way you want to capture it.
Learning Photography is a wonderful journey and as you learn, practice & experiment - your skills will develop and you will see improvements as you go.
Enjoy the ride :)
Carlton

4/30/2011 4:52:08 AM

Alan N. Marcus

member since: 3/4/2006
  ISO - The value assigned to film or the setting of the imaging chip in a digital camera. This number tells us how sensitive the film or chip is to light. The higher the number the more sensitive or "faster" the film or chip setting.

ISO is an abbreviation --International Standards Organization. Based in Switzerland, the ISO maintains standards used by science and industry.

f/number - A number used to indicate the size and light-passing ability of the lens opening. We adjust by changing the aperture size. Most common f/numbers are f/2.8 - f/4 - f/5.6 - f/8 - f/11 - f/16 and f/22. f/2.8 passes lots of light, f/22 is a tiny aperture passing a feeble amount of light.

Focal length - The distance from the camera lens to a point behind the lens inside the camera where the light rays come to a focus. If the distance is short a wide-angle view results. If the distance is long, the image obtained will be highly magnified.

Aperture - The opening in a lens system through which the light passes. The diameter of the aperture in modern cameras is adjustable. The number value assigned is calibrated in f/numbers.
Exposure - The quantity of light allowed to act on the film or digital chip. Too much and the picture will be over-exposed, too little and the picture will be under-exposed.
Exposure time - The camera shutter is a gate that block light from acting on the film or digital chip. We press the shutter button and the shutter opens briefly. The length of time, usually measured in fractions of a second, is the exposure time.

Etc. You must ask or pick up a book on the how and why of the camera.

5/6/2011 9:34:19 AM

  Hi Varun,
This article might help: www.siskinphoto.com/magazine/zpdf/basic.pdf It is also hosted here at BetterPhoto somewhere. I hope it helps.
Thanks, John Siskin

5/8/2011 11:22:49 AM

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Photography Question 
Harold Bonacquist
haroldbonacquist.com

member since: 11/7/2005
  56 .  Ghosting at F1.4
I have a Nikkor F1.4 prime that I have used very successfully for portraits for some time. I took some stage shots of a local production of Nunsense and the pix seemed ghosted -- with a haze over the image and colored fringes on the edges. I stopped down to F2.8 and the problem disappeared. The shot was all black and white under strong stage lights and I am thinking that the high dynamic range might have something to do with the problem. Is this a problem endemic to fast lenses or just to the Nikkor?

4/12/2011 6:30:46 PM

Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member
gregorylagrange.org

member since: 11/11/2003
  Lenses can have an aperture or aperture range where they are at their sharpest. By your situation, your lens is better at 2.8 than 1.4 The high contrast scene made it more evident.
The same thing can show up with certain zoom ranges for zoom lenses.

4/12/2011 11:28:05 PM

  Yep, Gregory pretty much has it summed up. With the powerful lighting and shooting at f1.4 you have a very small DOF. With this combo it accounts for the flare (haze) and the rainbow of colors around the edges. I am surprised that you didn't have to close down to f4.

Be happy that you didn't take the photo using a Leica 50mm f0.95 lens wide open. :=)

4/13/2011 11:14:29 AM

Harold Bonacquist
haroldbonacquist.com

member since: 11/7/2005
  Problem solved: The pix were way overexposed! I normally shoot with a Nikon 7000 and Sigma F2.8 zoom at 1/60 sec and auto ISO. Working under colored stage lights ISO is typically well over 1000. This shoot was under bright white lamps, so I set the speed to 1/125. I went back to look at the pix shot at F1.4: ISO 100. And the pix at F2.8? Also ISO 100! I should be bragging about how well the 7000 did, rather than complaining! Two final questions: (1) Which lens do you think will have more light-gathering power at F2.8: The Nikkor, or the Sigma? (2) Would you expect the Nikkor at F2.8 to be sharper than the Sigma at F2.8, since the Sigma is wide open and the Nikkor is stopped down?

4/13/2011 1:02:52 PM

  f2.8 is f2.8 regardless of which lens you have. It is the aperture's diameter divided into the focal length of the lens. So if you have a 300mm f2.8 the physical diameter is larger than for a 50mm. But the same amount of light reaches the sensor. The sharpness diference is from lens design, quality of build and the type of glass used.

4/13/2011 8:27:10 PM

Harold Bonacquist
haroldbonacquist.com

member since: 11/7/2005
  Interesting. As you suspected, I thought that maybe the physical diameter of the lens made a difference. But: The Nikkor 1.4 prime has fewer lens elements than the Sigma 2.8 zoom, doesn't it? Does this have some effect, albeit small, on the amount of light hitting the sensor?

4/15/2011 4:26:06 PM

Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member
gregorylagrange.org

member since: 11/11/2003
  Fewer elements means sharper images, less diffraction/chromatic aberration. Unless you want to measure any light that gets reflected of the surface of each element, you're not talking about any effect on the amount of light that reaches the sensor.

4/17/2011 5:43:36 PM

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Photography Question 
Sharon J. McAulay
BetterPhoto Member
sharonmcaulay.com

member since: 2/9/2004
  57 .  How to make hair extensions look realistic
 
  Rapunzel 1
Rapunzel 1
© Sharon J. McAulay
sharonmcaulay.com
Nikon D2X Digital ...
 
  Rapunzel 2
Rapunzel 2
© Sharon J. McAulay
sharonmcaulay.com
Nikon D2X Digital ...
 
  Rapunzel 3
Rapunzel 3
© Sharon J. McAulay
sharonmcaulay.com
Nikon D2X Digital ...
 
Good afternoon,
I recently did a fashion shoot for a local magazine, and the hair stylist added extensions to the model's hair. When we were doing the shoot, the extensions looked to be a perfect match for the model's hair, but in this one image, they look very synthetic (which they are). I'm looking for photoshop solutions to make the extensions match the model's real hair. Would very much appreciate any ideas! Thank you!
P.S. I'm uploading three of the images, but it's the first one that I think has the most noticeable difference between hair and extensions.

3/22/2011 7:31:37 AM

  First I would like to say that the photos you took are beautiful as is the model. The only nit I have is on the first on where I believe that you should have kept her feet in the frame and a personal dislike is I do not feel that tilting the camera did your photo justice.

As for the hair I agree. She combined two styles on one head. The long flowing wavy hair and the braided pony tail do not work well together. her hair in front and along the sides should have been pulled back over her ears smoothly on both sides. No extraneous hair hanging down on the sides except the long over her shoulder.

Find another hair stylist. Or learn how to fix it in post processing which would be more difficult.


Lynn

3/22/2011 11:24:02 AM

Sharon J. McAulay
BetterPhoto Member
sharonmcaulay.com

member since: 2/9/2004
  Thanks very much Lynn for the comments, and I must say I agree with you about the feet and the camera tilt, but both of those edits were requested by the person who hired me to do the shoot. As for the hair, it was supposed to be a loose braid, but the hair stylist made it too loose, and then said he couldn't come with us on location, so between the wind and the changes of clothes, etc., we ended up with a much looser braid than expected! Anyway, as I said, I really appreciate your taking the time to comment, and I'm still messing around with photoshop to try to make those extensions look more natural, although I only have one more day until we go to print!
Thanks again, and all the best, Sharon

3/22/2011 4:38:12 PM

Frank Bilotta
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 11/8/2010
  Yes I agree, beautiful. Because of the way the model is leaning the tilt looks great, like how it looks like she is leaning into it. Plus the hair tones are different, her real hair is a warm blond and the ext. is a cool ash type, beside the straight and curly diff. too.....Frank

3/23/2011 2:39:13 PM

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Photography Question 
Joseph L. Ouellette
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 8/17/2008
  58 .  Uploading from Picasa
Can I upload from Picasa using drag an drop?

3/14/2011 1:58:40 PM

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Photography Question 
Amelie J. Gort

member since: 1/1/2011
  59 .  Saving Pics.
I was wondering what you guys recommend as an external hard drive? I guess my PC decided that there is no more memory while I was working in Photoshop. I have tons of pics that I probably should save somewhere else. I do have a Backup HD in my PC but I think I need something else?
Let me know what you guys think.

Thanks,
Amelie Gort

2/22/2011 5:23:22 PM

  First of all, you absolutely DO need something else!! I'm a fan of the Western Digital "My Book" external hard drive - if you watch sales you can get a 1T model for $100. If you travel much and need to transfer photos, the small Passport portables are excellent as well (250 or 500GB are reasonably priced). Another possibility is to subscribe to a back-up service like Carbonite (around $55 a year) that automatically backs up for you.

2/23/2011 7:06:50 AM

  I have a 2 Terabyte (2,048 Gigabytes) Acomdata that I paid approx $200 for 4 years ago. I know they somewhat cheaper now. I take thousands of pictures a month and I still haven't run out of room. I got mine at Costco, but I know they sell them on the web. Try Amazon.com, or BH Photo, etc.

2/23/2011 7:04:08 PM

  I am a bit confused by your original post. Memory or RAM is different from storage or disk space. Did you get a memory error in photoshop? This is quite possible to do when working on big files or when you have multiple things open or lots of layers and has nothing to do with disk space.

If this was the problem you need to either limit your open files, or flatten the layers occasionally so that you do not exceed your available RAM or add additional RAM in your system. How much you can add depends on both your hardware and operating system.

If the problem is that you ran out of disk space moving photos off to an external backup drive will work. Storage is cheap these days and I would recommend that you always have your photos in at least two places. I keep mine internally and back up (have a copy made) to an external drive daily. This of course will not help if your drive is full. If that is the case I would see about a larger internal drive and matching external drive for backup.

4/1/2011 8:26:55 PM

  I am a bit confused by your original post. Memory or RAM is different from storage or disk space. Did you get a memory error in photoshop? This is quite possible to do when working on big files or when you have multiple things open or lots of layers and has nothing to do with disk space.

If this was the problem you need to either limit your open files, or flatten the layers occasionally so that you do not exceed your available RAM or add additional RAM in your system. How much you can add depends on both your hardware and operating system.

If the problem is that you ran out of disk space moving photos off to an external backup drive will work. Storage is cheap these days and I would recommend that you always have your photos in at least two places. I keep mine internally and back up (have a copy made) to an external drive daily. This of course will not help if your drive is full. If that is the case I would see about a larger internal drive and matching external drive for backup.

4/1/2011 8:27:55 PM

Sarah G

member since: 10/30/2007
  http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/QnAdetail.asp?threadID=35309

This Q & A has a link to what I think is a rather good blog on the subject. You might want to consider looking at it and taking from it what you want.

4/2/2011 7:44:04 PM

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Photography Question 
Jeffrey F. Caren

member since: 2/25/2010
  60 .  display photos
I cannot get all photos to display.
When I check off "display" and then "submit"
they do not go to display. What am I missing?

2/20/2011 3:21:56 PM

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