Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Lesson 5 ~ Owen Hillard....isn't he a cutie pie?

Lesson 5: Indoor Lighting

Canon Rebel XSi, Manual, Aperture 1.8, Shutter Speed 1/50, ISO 400, AWB, Focal Length 50.0 mm
(I'm finally getting this picture uploaded....I had to swipe it off of the class gallery because my computer died with all of my pictures on it. I hated having to do it this way because every time you save a picture, you lose some of the quality, but I didn't have a choice and it still looks pretty good.)
***Here are mine and my teacher's comments:
Ok, well this isn't as sharp as I wanted it to be...for some reason now I'm thinking I remember someone saying to use f 5.6 for portraits, but not sure. I had trouble holding the camera still, so most of the shots were a little blurry. I took this at church this morning and had to use Auto White Balance because Tungsten turned the photo blue.

Candice, as you can see by my settings, I have no idea what I'm doing when it comes to taking portraits, hence why I will be taking your portrait class! I locked the focal point on his right eye and I'm very disappointed that his whole face wasn't more in focus. What was I thinkin' choosing f/1.8? Ugh! Should I have chosen f/2.8 or even 4.0 ? I tend to choose a low aperture because I love the look of a blurred background, plus I wanted to let in more light, so I could lower the ISO for this photo. I do LOVE how I'm drawn right to his gorgeous eyes though! Is it ever ok to choose f/1.8 for closeups and is this pic still good?

candice*stringham [Oct 25, 2009 at 08:59 PM]
You are definitely on the right track Debra! You have beautiful catchlights in his eyes which adds "sparkle" to this photo. The settings you used are fine for portraits, but this also depends on what you are trying to accomplish. When you focus on an area you have a certain amount in front of and behind that point, known as the focal plane. The focal plane runs from side to side, so anything in that same plane will be in focus. When you use an open aperture, the depth of field (the area in front and behind the focal plane) is VERY small, sometimes less than an inch.

It looks like the sharpest area is on his sleeve and his eyes are slightly behind this area of focus. With the open aperture the depth of field is very small so the eyes are a tad less sharp than the sleeve. Notice how his forearm and ears are blurred- this is because they are either too far in front or behind that focal plane. When you use a more narrow aperture such as 4.0-5.6 you have a greater depth of field, meaning you have more room in front and in back of the focal plane. Next time try increasing the ISO indoors so that you can increase the exposure some without sacrificing the shutter speed, but remember you will need to use an open aperture since there is not much light in most rooms.

Candice, thank you for answering my question and continuing to teach me! I love that you explain things in a way that I totally understand and I GET IT! Thank you so much, for taking the time to help me!


  1. I can see that you really get some good pointers from her. Owen is a cutie and I'm drawn to his eyes in this photo too!

  2. Thanks Mari, I'm drawn to his eyes also and he's just cute as a bug!!! I scheduled my lesson 6 photo to be posted tomorrow afternoon. Then after that I will be posting some practice shots.

  3. Well, if you need him to pose again, I'm sure he could be persuaded, lol. We will FINALLY be back in church tomorrow night, everybody's down to the dried-out-throat-but-not-sick-anymore cough, so just trying to keep everybody hydrated and germ-free.

  4. Debra! Can you believe I lost your e-mail? I thought I had it saved, and I guess I didn't. So, I'm answering your question here. I have several freezer meals posted on my recipe blog. One that I make every time I do freezer meals is Spaghetti casserole. Everyone always loves it. I also made sloppy joes, Crowd Pleaser Casserole and Swiss Pepper Steak. The recipe isn't posted yet for the last one, because it's the first time I made it and I want to try it before posting it.

  5. Michelle glad you all are finally getting well, it will be good to see you back in church and don't worry, I'm sure little Owen will be my subject again, since he is sooo photogenic!

    Mari thanks for your reply, I will check out your recipes on your blog...those casseroles sound really good!!!


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