So I have virtual post-it notes on my desktop where I can jot down little to-do lists or things to remember. Lately the list for blog-related or photography questions has grown rather lengthy. In an attempt to find answers (and feel the sense of accomplishment that comes with deleting to-do list items) this will be a compilation of those things that have been rolling around in my mind.
For the record, I’m using a Canon Rebel XT and have only recently begun using PS CS3 for post-processing. To see examples of some of my frustrations, feel free to peruse my Flickr photostream too.
I am slowly learning how to capture better images, which makes the job of post-processing that much easier (though that too is still tricky at times). While I understand the concept and interplay between shutter speed, ISO and aperture, I still have a hard time making the mechanics of all three work together in a way that produces the image I see in my mind’s eye.
One question I have is about lenses. I almost always (ok, always) use my 50mm fixed lens, and I think part of my reasoning behind doing so is that I was told somewhere along the line that that lens is good for portrait-type shots. The person explained it as having the subject in sharp focus, but the background blurred. Isn’t that simply depth of field? Can’t that be achieved with any lens? I’m hoping to use my kit lens (18mm-55mm) a little more to see if I can’t play around and build my camera knowledge.
After taking a one-night class at the store where I purchased my camera, I began shooting in manual, almost exclusively. I find I’d be happy with the tiny image on the display, but dissatisfied by the blur (camera shake?) when I downloaded the images. I guess I’m looking for that crispness and definition that I see in so many other images on various blogs I read. Any suggestions to help me improve my practice? I often find that I try to salvage bad shots with post-processing, which more often than not reduces what little integrity the original image had. These highly processed shots then, result in poor prints, and so on.
MIISPLACED FOCAL POINTS
There are times when I want to take a picture where the subjects are equidistant from the center of the frame. I’ve tried adjusting my focal points, but often end up with images that focus on the point between the subjects instead. There are certain situations that don’t allow the time to adjust these focal points while also adusting other settings to capture the shot.
(I know there are several issues with this one…again, blur is the main one I notice)
Is there a way to set the focal points to an “auto” setting? Would I want to turn them off? There are times when I want everything in focus, which I know is also an aperture issue. Am I totally confusing the issues here?
I think I’ve read about reducing the “strength” of your flash. It would allow you to use the built-in flash, but without washing out the image so much. I thought I figured out how to do it at one point, but it seems that the result wasn’t much different. Any suggestions?
I read most of my blogs through my Google reader. A few, I’ve noticed make updates or changes to certain posts, and they show up in my reader (not as “new” or “unread” but when I click the post there is new content). I know how to edit posts through wordpress, and I always save my changes, which means the post on my blog is correct or updated. How do I get that corrected version to “re-publish” through my feeds?
Many of my photography questions are fueled by a slight case of anxiety as I prepare to take my first “official” shoot for some friends next week. I’ve already given several disclaimers and hope to get at least a handful of decent images for them to choose from. I’m also, just diving into the world of printing the images so that they look as good (or better) in the print form as they do on my screen.
Thanks for listening today and I really appreciate the help!