Something is off on my pics, is it me? my 24-105? Help needed.

Started Sep 26, 2011 | Discussions thread
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Something is off on my pics, is it me? my 24-105? Help needed.
Sep 26, 2011

Ok, so my brother asked me to do his wedding for him (I know, not how you want to start a "what's wrong with my photos" thread). The pics turned out well, but not as good as they could have been. I was able to tweat them in lightroom and photoshop to sharpen them, which was the primary issue I was observing. In the end they look good and my brother and the bride are very happy, but I'm not satisfied, they weren't the nomal L quality I've come to love and I can't figure out why. Anyways, first some info:

  • Equipment: Canon 60D + 24-105/17-55 + 430EXII. The 24-105 I got from a good friend, I've had it just over a month and about 90% of the shots were with the 24-105.

  • Conditions: Bright sunny day, not a cloud in the sky. Mid to early afternoon (1-3pm).

  • Shoot location: Shade of the trees, shadow of the barn, outdoor tent

  • My experience: Minimal, I'm relatively new to DSLRs and photography (I know, I didn't want to do the wedding but it was either me or "everyone bring your camera's and we'll just take the best ones") I've only been shooting about 4 months, but I've probably gone through 75,000 shots in that time, digested a half dozen books on general and digital photography, committed the 60d manual to memory, etc... I'm new, but committed to my new hobby.

My suspicions: About 90% of my shots were in the shade or under the tent. Almost all of them I was popping the flash for. My concern is that most of the photos just look a hair off on the focus, which is not what I'm accustomed to with the 24-105. Reviewing my photos I think I see a couple of patterns I was hoping you could help me with:

1) What few non-flash photos I took don't seem to have this same focus issue, is there something that would cause the pics to be slightly off on the focus when using the flash? I was shooting mostly in manual @ f4, ISO 100, 180-260 shutter. I think the flash is only rated to a shutter speed of 200, would having the shutter too high cause this issue?

2) In looking at the wedding table shots I've noticed that in a few shots a the wine bottles in front of the target subject are slightly clearer. Is it possible there is a near focus issue when the flash is being used?

3) Oddly, I can't seem to re-produce the issue. I ran around the house taking photos of the kids with the flash on the same settings and the photos are nice and sharp. Am I missing something?

So any guesses? I'm lost, and it was only a bunch of photos I'd just chalk it up to photographer inexperience but it's pretty much every shot with the flash that has this slight focus problem and it's driving me nuts as I want to know why so I don't do it again next time. Any input is appreciated. Thanks.

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