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Thread: Practice

  1. #1
    Mario Xavier's Avatar
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    Practice

    I took a ride yesterday to practice manual focus though I don't think the cold shivers helped me keep steady.

    First to greet me at the park was this guy... sadly I couldn't get detail
    Practice

    You know the leaf shot? Yeah, I couldn't get it to come out right.
    Practice

    I tried a silohuette of my cousin walking along a stone wall at dusk.
    Practice

    I feel like I'm making progress but I need to better interpret my frustrations to take me to the next step. I'm not in love with these images but compared to what I could do a month ago I'm somewhat content for now.

  2. #2
    Mario Xavier's Avatar
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    Re: Practice

    oh, also I've decided to take some classes. That should help.

  3. #3
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Practice

    Hi Xavier,

    First one isn't great as a photo and as an exercise in manual focusing, the f/14 aperture makes it impossible to know how close to correct you were.

    Second one looks like the leaf is half in a shadow and it is on top of another which leads the eye straight out of frame at the top, these two factors are probably why it doesn't work well.

    The third I really like; sure I can think of a couple of ideas for better relative positioning of you, cousin and background, e.g. to avoid the tree behind him sprouting from his legs, but there's a lot else that is perfect; the exposure, the sky, the 'pose' and the clues to location in background, the trees either side framing it, etc.

    Cheers,

  4. #4
    John C's Avatar
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    Re: Practice

    Xavier,
    I noted that you took all three photos at ISO 1600, generally that high of an ISO results in more noise (and consequently, more noise reduction processing in the camera) and potential loss of detail. Generally, I use the lowest ISO setting that is practical and shoot in Raw format. Of course, shooting in Raw requires more processing.

    Don't forget to check out the tutorials on the website. Also, be sure to read the comments posted about other's photos. Keep posting photos yourself, too.

  5. #5
    rpcrowe's Avatar
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    Re: Practice

    There was a time that I thought I could focus faster and more accurately with manual focus than I could with auto-focus. In fact, I skipped the entire generation of Canon EOS film cameras and stuck with my manual focus A-1 and AE-1P with FD lenses.

    Then when I went to digital, I realized that a good auto-focus camera/lens could beat me hands down in speed and accuracy of focus. The only time I manually focus is when I am shooting macros.

  6. #6

    Re: Practice

    Totally agree with Richard. The digital cameras we see today are not designed for manual focusing out of the box. Lenses vary considerably in the functional accuracy and ergonomics of the focusing ring (I am talking consumer lenses here). You can get replacement view finder screens to help with focusing (at least from Canon) but I am not sure I would every change my focusing screen. The only time I manual focus (apart from close-ups) is when I use a manual lens and then i use live view whenever possible.

    The third image is a good shot but if it were me I would have cropped away the tree trunk on the left and possibly cropped the right hand edge to coincide with the centre of the tree trunk.

    Xavier, please do not feel you need to master every aspect of your cameras functionality. Concentrate on the basics of exposure triangle, composition etc. The more advanced functions will come into play as you start to stretch the boundaries.

  7. #7

    Re: Practice

    The only time you need to manually focus is when shooting for stacking images, or if the auto-focus isn't picking up the focus point - water, glass, fog etc. But it's good to do it as practise as it forces you to consider what should be in focus.

  8. #8
    JK6065's Avatar
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    Re: Practice

    It might be a good idea to use the depth-of-field-preview-button (if you haven't already) when practising this. This will enable you to get a better idea of what the depth of field will be and your focussing works with that. Though you'll find that the viewfinder might get rather dark when shooting with a small aperture.

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