Sunday, May 10, 2015

Photography talk

I'm in one of those moods. I'm not happy with any of my photos. My subjects are boring (my fault) and my pictures are lousy, technically (could be my fault). I've had the camera out for the last three days, each day with a different lens, and most of my photos are disappointingly blurry, noisy, and most importantly to me, lacking in clarity and sharpness.

The vineyards are getting greener by the day.

I've had a love/hate relationship with this camera (Canon T3i/600D) since I got it three years ago. Every once in a while I get what I think is a good shot -- I'm not talking about composition, but about image quality. It should happen more often than it does. I can't be THAT bad at this. But what if I am? What if I upgrade to a more expensive model only to find out that I'm the problem? I'm afraid to take that step. I feel paralyzed.

Still, there is one thing I have not really explored: shooting in raw mode. I tried it early on, but found that working with raw images in Photoshop Elements was daunting. I've since read about Lightroom and how it's designed for processing raw camera images and is easier to use than Photoshop for that purpose (both are Adobe products). I think I'll do some raw shooting and see if I can download a trial version of Lightroom to check it out. If it works for me, buying Lightroom would be a lot more economical than upgrading to a new camera.

8 comments:

  1. Are you using Autofocus or Manual Focus....
    The newer Pentax cameras have adjustment for the slight differences in the captor position...
    for using autofocus... I've got mine to the max and very many pix are softer than I would like...
    I am now shooting almost entirely on Manual and getting consistently better results....
    I feel like you, there aren't enough hours in the day to work up your "entire roll of film" into useable jpegs...
    but my bro' who works with his pix all day long to create saleable images....
    shoots RAW and uses Lightroom almost exclusively.

    However, along with using Manual, something else I have done is go back and look at the reviews of the lenses I am using...
    and checking the graphs of image resolution... to find the range of best resolution...
    with the result I am now on f13 and 400 to 800ASA for the Tamron zoom....
    and getting better quality images!!
    But it means working in very good light...

    But I am not working with the top whack range of lenses...
    the only lenses I have that are lower than f4.6 are the Pentax standard 50mm at f1.7....
    and the 55mm at f1.8... those both came with my analogue Pentax cameras...
    and are the devil to use with digital that wants everything to "be connected"!
    An f2.8 zoom lens is way beyond my budget!!

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    Replies
    1. tim, I mostly use autofocus, but I do use manual on occasion. And I am familiar with the "sweet spot" of lenses. Most often, it's just a matter of avoiding the extremes, be it the aperture or the focal length (if it's a zoom). My blur and noise issues come from pushing the camera in low-light situations (i.e. wide apertures and high ISO), so I know that's a problem and what to expect. But even in good light with smaller apertures, my images just are not as "crisp" as I'd like. Sigh.

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    2. " But even in good light with smaller apertures, my images just are not as "crisp" as I'd like. Sigh."...
      I've got "Sharpness" wound right to the Max on mine... and it is often still not as crisp as I'd like...
      I looked at some of my old slides recently, looking for an image....
      we wouldn't tolerate that lack of sharpness now from a digital camera...
      and screens are getting more&more capable of delivering really sharp results....
      I wonder if it is US... expecting too much??

      Delete
  2. Geeze, I can't imagine that you need a different camera -- your photos are always SO impressive!

    Happy anniversary, too!!

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  3. Happy Anniversary! Well, I think your photos are usually magnificent.....

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  4. Walt, I can't believe it's been 3 years since you and Ken got married. That was a happy day for your blog readers as well as for you and Ken. Happy anniversary, and many more to come.

    YOU have a problem with photo quality? Cut that out, Walt! I see your work every day and your photos are topnotch. How many times have I picked a favorite photo of yours, and then next week a new favorite turned up.

    I have a blurriness problem, and it's serious since I'm an ignoramus when it comes to cameras. My new Sony camera is giving me worse images than my phone and I don't know how to solve the problem other than returning the camera. I dread calling customer service or "chatting" with a tech but I will if I have to.

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  5. Just like the other comments, above, I have always admired your photo work. My thoughts when you have made critical comments about your shots -- is that I obviously am not at your level of photography. This is another of those times... Good wishes in finding a solution. Meanwhile I will continue to look forward to each day and another interesting use of a camera, your lens and the subject du jour!

    Mary in Oregon

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  6. And Happy Anniversary from me too!

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