Friday, May 8, 2009

I Heart Faces- Constructive Feedback Friday

Since finding this blog I have learned so much and now look! They are even going to help me figure out how to fix the problem with this photo, I hope. Can you see what's wrong with it? Well, the major problem anyway. It's hard enough to get one child to sit still for a photo, so getting 5 to sit is even more challenging. When you have everyone looking and smiling you have to be quick. In this photo you can obviously tell that I am focused on Thomas. Everyone else is blurry. I am still learning settings with camera and my different lenses.

Here is the EXIF data:
1/60 s at f/2 + 0.33
ISO 200

Editing was done in CS3. I shoot most of my photos in AV Mode, so I was wondering how I can get a clear shot of everyone when there is so much movement. When I use a higher f-stop sometimes the photos come out darker. Any help and feedback is very much appreciated.


Lucy said...

I am currently only taking pictures of 3 squirming children, but have struggled with exactly the same problem! One in focus (usually and perversely - the ONLY one not smiling) and the rest blurry.
I have found by changing my focus point from central to all points, I can make the entire group in focus and not have to worry quite so much about keeping that little dot on one child, etc. This works on our camera and I'm sure I'm using the wrong terminology, but I hope it makes some sense!
I LOVED the one of your youngest the other day!

Cayle said...

Aperture needs to be higher. I am not an expert at this [haha]. I HEART FACES has a great tutorial on this.

I really hope that helped.

Krista said...

My entry for today's Constructive Feedback is pretty much dealing with the same issue: out-of-focus!

I had 12 kids in the frame, though, so perhaps I'm asking for too much?

I keep telling myself, though, that if a cheapy point-and-shoot can do it, then my beloved D-SLR should be able to, too! Of course, my beloved mocks my every effort by producing one blurry face after another.

Let's hope we both get some great feedback today. Wouldn't it be nice to know how to solve this issue?

McKay Family said...

In order to have a deeper depth of field, try a higher f/stop...the lower the f/stop the more "blur" (shallow depth of field) you will have. As for fixing PSE you could create duplicate layer - filter high pass (settings around 2.0). Then choose overlay and adjust opacity. That will take care of the two girls. You can then try to further sharpen the two little ones in the front by using the lasso and unsharp mask.

JAN said...

Thanks for the tips. Now if I raise the aperture, I think I would have raise the ISO as well. To keep the background blurred would I have to move all the kids further away from the curtain?

Julie Rivera Photography said...

As others have mentioned, your aperture is far to wide for the grouping you are working with. f/2 is so shallow that an eye can be in focus and the nose will be outside the area of focus. It will not work when you have subjects on different planes. For this particular ensemble, I wouldn't go below f/5.6 and might even try f/7.1 or 7/8. And you are absolutely right, as your aperture number increases, your ISO will need to increase to maintain shutter speed.

The other difficulty you were probably encountering was shooting into the light source. If you had positioned the children where you stood, so they were facing the window and getting all that nice diffused light through the sheers on their faces, you would have had more flexibility with your camera settings. With more light on them, even with the aperture at f/7.1, your shutter speed and ISO would be acceptable.

I think you will have to sacrifice some level of blurred background for clarity of subject. Personally, clarity far outweighs the background, especially because you can make so many easy corrections in PS with the blur tool or a gaussian blur layer.

JAN said...

Julie, what a great idea to have the kids facing the window. I never thought of that. I will have to give it a try. Thanks! BTW, I love your blog. Your photos are stunning.

wenderful said...

Just wanted to add that your shutter speed should be at least the same number as your focal distance. Double the number is even better. Even with a steady hand, your chances of getting good focus at 1/60 is pretty slim. A faster shutter speed or a tripod would give you better results.

Darling kids!