Why Are My Pics So Poor?

Started 6 months ago | Questions
TheGrammarFairy Regular Member • Posts: 493
Don't Take The Photo, Make It
1

For that matter you can use your body to block the direct sun or you can hold a sheet of tracing paper over the flower for shade, or for extra coolness, use a piece of card with random holes cut in it to make it look like there is a tree overhead that's providing shade.

abrogard1 wrote:

shouldn't shooting in the shade overcome the harsh light thing? and if I'm setting my speed to avoid shake and then opening up the aperture I guess you're advocating shooting in manual? I generally use tv.

OP abrogard1 Regular Member • Posts: 207
Re: Don't Take The Photo, Make It

I have  a new idea.  Metering.  I've moved it onto spot metering.  i think that might help.

Jack Calypso Contributing Member • Posts: 997
Re: Why Are My Pics So Poor?

One thing I would recommend is putting your AF spot over the main area of interest, which I think is the stamens. Close up and macro have an inherently shallow depth of field, and your eyes are naturally drawn to the sharpest part.

If the flower is moving around because of the wind, that may be easy said than done.

Vlogs by El Junior Member • Posts: 39
Re: Why Are My Pics So Poor?

Why do you say that?
Who told you they are poor?
Your images are reflecting what you see through a lens.

If that is what you want the image to become then that is what you make of it.
The third one is nice I would say.

Why the doubt?

OP abrogard1 Regular Member • Posts: 207
Re: Why Are My Pics So Poor?

Vlogs by El wrote:

Why do you say that?
Who told you they are poor?
Your images are reflecting what you see through a lens.

If that is what you want the image to become then that is what you make of it.
The third one is nice I would say.

Why the doubt?

Yep. But that is not 'what I want the image to become' is the point.

I could see what's since been pointed out to me to be the results of over exposure and camera shake - and probably poor focusing.

Now I've cranked up the speed and set point metering and am telling myself to take more care over focusing ( I prefer to use manual focus ) then I think I already see an improvement.

I posted a pic yesterday I think, attempting to show that but it's not really good for the job as it's a 'soft' kind of pic due to the overcast day. I think. Though I might be talking nonsense. Hope not. But it happens.

Here's a pic from yesterday I thought I posted yesterday but looks like I didn't.

I think it is better even though it's all fuzzy etc.  Well it's not really fuzzy but it looks that way because I left a white blossom in the background. My fault.  I'll try do another today and avoid that.  But all else I find acceptable. That's all i look for. Now they say red is a problem and I guess that's more to the point.  I'll try some red today.  I have these great big red hibiscus to practice on...

OP abrogard1 Regular Member • Posts: 207
Re: Why Are My Pics So Poor?

AnthonyL wrote:

non's DPP is highly rated. It will help you if understand what a RAW file is. Having said that the .cr2 you get starts with the defaults that you had your camera set to, eg White balance, colour saturation, etc but you can then change them. When editing a cr2 file the "recipe" is stored in the same file but separately from the raw data, so you can:

1) Revert to last saved settings

2) Revert to shot settings (ie before you made any changes)

From what you've said earlier I would fully uninstall the Canon suite and start again as the EOS utility is very useful, especially if your preferred connection is USB. However if you put your SD card in the computer then you can use the ImageBrowser utility to download and it mirrors whatever had been downloaded by EOS Utility. I'm not sure however that you've said what computer you have and you need to ensure you are using the right downloads which you should be getting from the Canon support site.

For a long time I had the 450D and you have a later camera. There is nothing wrong with those models and you don't need to splash out on new gear. The one single item I would look at changing is the 18-55 even if it means getting a used 18-55 IS or STM of which there should be plenty around at a good price and low cost.

You also haven't answered the question of how you are focussing. Are you trying manually, or using one of the focus modes or Live view? Use a letter or flat magazine inside by the window so you have good light and learn to take a good sharp picture. Read up on how to hold a DSLR. If you can't then get good photos it may be you have a gear problem.

Jabbing the shutter (good call) as has been mentioned is something you can practise at overcoming and that will show on the test I've mentioned above.

Sorry I missed your post.

Why change the 18-55 - for what?  An 'IS' or 'STM' I guess from what you write. I don't know what they are.  I'll look into it.

I use manual focusing for preference.

I very much don't like taking those SD cards in and out. Too many too fragile pins. I've lost two already with bent  pins.  So I depend heavily on camera to pc connection and associated softwares.

What I get is sometimes the EOS utility will open up and download and sometimes it won't and MS Photos gets in there and does it.

And when it does work I find it a little hassly having to set where the photos get stored to avoid the 550D photos going to the same place as the other cameras I use: a 400D and a 350D.

I  much prefer this 550D because I fancy those extra pixels make a huge difference.  Maybe I'm wrong.  I should make some tests.  But that's how I feel.

If I understand what you've said about the DPP (which I still haven't edited anything with)  I can always revert back to the original pic?  That'd be good.  I'd like that.

OP abrogard1 Regular Member • Posts: 207
Re: A Smidge of Camera Shake?

I will.  Thanks.  I never like cranking up the speed because of ISO going up but this thread has shown me not to fear that any more so I'm more than happy to do it. 

Vlogs by El Junior Member • Posts: 39
Re: Why Are My Pics So Poor?

I think personally this is another great pic.
Don't know why someone would not agree.
Again it is your composition.
And of course its different lenses and settings.
Yes, you don't have the most perfect picture.
But what if you did?
Then you can stop photographing tomorrow.
Make the perfect picture and sell your cam.
That's actually what will happen.
I think your picture plus the one I pointed out before are great.
The first 2 from the first post I reacted on are really below average, but these 2 are great.
And again they might be mediocre for you, but I think the photos are great.

OP abrogard1 Regular Member • Posts: 207
Re: Why Are My Pics So Poor?
2

Vlogs by El wrote:

I think personally this is another great pic.
Don't know why someone would not agree.
Again it is your composition.
And of course its different lenses and settings.
Yes, you don't have the most perfect picture.
But what if you did?
Then you can stop photographing tomorrow.
Make the perfect picture and sell your cam.
That's actually what will happen.
I think your picture plus the one I pointed out before are great.
The first 2 from the first post I reacted on are really below average, but these 2 are great.
And again they might be mediocre for you, but I think the photos are great.

Thank you my friend,  very pleasant words to read, of course.  I like them too and it's great to think someone else shares the pleasure.

Don't worry.  I'm not too fussy, if I'm giving that impression,  not neurotically chronically dissatisfied with my pics.

It was just back then a few days ago I looked and was disappointed and couldn't see why.

So I came here and raised the question.

Got my answers.  Am well satisfied.

And thank everyone for their help.  Most particularly yourself for your kind words...

Mark S Abeln
Mark S Abeln Forum Pro • Posts: 18,894
Re: Why Are My Pics So Poor?

abrogard1 wrote:

second edit: I looked into it. It was Picasa. When I view with Picasa it renders all jpg lighter than the CR2.

if I view the same folder in faststone they're identical. no problem.

Probably a problem with color management, which needed to be turned on in both apps. Are the photos in the Adobe RGB color space?

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OP abrogard1 Regular Member • Posts: 207
Re: Why Are My Pics So Poor?

Mark Scott Abeln wrote:

abrogard1 wrote:

second edit: I looked into it. It was Picasa. When I view with Picasa it renders all jpg lighter than the CR2.

if I view the same folder in faststone they're identical. no problem.

Probably a problem with color management, which needed to be turned on in both apps. Are the photos in the Adobe RGB color space?

I don't know.  So I viewed in DPP and checked 'info'.  Color space for each  (.jpg and cr2) was sRGB.   Is that it?

Mark S Abeln
Mark S Abeln Forum Pro • Posts: 18,894
Re: Why Are My Pics So Poor?

abrogard1 wrote:

Mark Scott Abeln wrote:

Probably a problem with color management, which needed to be turned on in both apps. Are the photos in the Adobe RGB color space?

I don't know. So I viewed in DPP and checked 'info'. Color space for each (.jpg and cr2) was sRGB. Is that it?

“Adobe RGB” was just a guess. It’s still likely that one app has color management turned on and the other off.

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PhotonBeam
PhotonBeam Regular Member • Posts: 448
Re: Why Are My Pics So Poor?

abrogard1 wrote:

Took a few suburban flower pics yesterday. A fair few. They are all poor. Why? Is it a limitation of my equipment or something I'm doing very wrong? These are actually about the best of them.

The lens is a canon efs 18-55.

Others have provided many good comments on lighting and other topics.

I find it helpful to try and think about why I am interested in taking a particular picture. Why take an image of a particular flower instead of another one a few feet away? Are there a particular characteristics that are attractive? (E.g., shape, color, environment, texture, etc.). Is there an overall feeling that should be conveyed (e.g., warm and welcoming, which may need a warm white balance).

Once the photographer knows what the want to convey, they can creatively determine how to best highlight those characteristics of the subject.

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OP abrogard1 Regular Member • Posts: 207
Re: Why Are My Pics So Poor?

Well thanks for that. That'd be right.  First, but, I'll get it figured how to take any sort of acceptable pic. 

theschtickler
theschtickler New Member • Posts: 5
Re: Why Are My Pics So Poor?

Depends on what you're comparing them to and your preferred style. One of the easiest things you can do is shoot at a later time of day to get that magic light. Try shooting late afternoon or early morning.

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Ellinor William Forum Member • Posts: 77
Re: Why Are My Pics So Poor?
1

The problem truly is the lighting. You should frame the flowers to adjust the lighting and make the reflecting light.

Lighting isn't as harsh in the morning or evening, so you can shoot these picture early or during sunset. You can also use a smartphone to light if you want to try something new.

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- Ellinor

OP abrogard1 Regular Member • Posts: 207
Re: Why Are My Pics So Poor?
1

Thanks for that.  I intend to try some additional lighting.  And to get out there early and late more often.

I took some more bad ones today.  More and more I think my own focusing is a problem.

And speed. I'm shooting on Tv at a 1/320 just in order to stop shake, tremor, wind movement.  I'm thinking I need to shoot faster.  And focus more carefully.

And learn about my camera. 

Aberaeron Veteran Member • Posts: 9,482
Re: Why Are My Pics So Poor?

abrogard1 wrote:

Thanks for that. I intend to try some additional lighting. And to get out there early and late more often.

I took some more bad ones today. More and more I think my own focusing is a problem.

And speed. I'm shooting on Tv at a 1/320 just in order to stop shake, tremor, wind movement. I'm thinking I need to shoot faster. And focus more carefully.

And learn about my camera.

Are you shooting at or too near the subject for the lens’s minimum focussing distance for the focal length you are using?

At half a metre distance at 55mm f10 focal length there will only be 20mm in acceptable focus. The near focus would be at 49mm and far limit at 51mm

At 1m distance, 55mm f10, 94mm nearest to 107 mm furthest will be in acceptable focus.

Also if the wind is moving the flowers then you will indeed need 1/320th shutter speed or even faster to get a really sharp image.

I suggest you zoom out a bit and stand back a bit to maximise your depth of field. f10 should be an ideal aperture to maximise it, so no need to adjust that further in my opinion.

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MarshallG
MarshallG Veteran Member • Posts: 8,359
Re: Why Are My Pics So Poor?

Aberaeron wrote:

abrogard1 wrote:

Thanks for that. I intend to try some additional lighting. And to get out there early and late more often.

I took some more bad ones today. More and more I think my own focusing is a problem.

And speed. I'm shooting on Tv at a 1/320 just in order to stop shake, tremor, wind movement. I'm thinking I need to shoot faster. And focus more carefully.

And learn about my camera.

Are you shooting at or too near the subject for the lens’s minimum focussing distance for the focal length you are using?

At half a metre distance at 55mm f10 focal length there will only be 20mm in acceptable focus. The near focus would be at 49mm and far limit at 51mm

At 1m distance, 55mm f10, 94mm nearest to 107 mm furthest will be in acceptable focus.

Also if the wind is moving the flowers then you will indeed need 1/320th shutter speed or even faster to get a really sharp image.

I suggest you zoom out a bit and stand back a bit to maximise your depth of field. f10 should be an ideal aperture to maximise it, so no need to adjust that further in my opinion.

You want to control your depth of field. You need to take the entire photo into account, not just the subject. Don't think of DoF as controlling what is in focus, you must also use it to control what is not in focus, and how defocused it is. In most of these flower shots, what I see is a central flower as subject, and everything surrounding it is "noise." Use DoF to throw that as far out of focus as you can. If some object is too close, move it out of the way or move your camera to take it out of frame. Our eyes look to the subject but the photograph is the entirety.

I think everybody starting out takes a lot of flower shots. It's a good way to get started and to get to know your equipment and how the settings affect sharpness and focus.

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Aberaeron Veteran Member • Posts: 9,482
Re: Why Are My Pics So Poor?
1

MarshallG wrote:

Aberaeron wrote:

abrogard1 wrote:

Thanks for that. I intend to try some additional lighting. And to get out there early and late more often.

I took some more bad ones today. More and more I think my own focusing is a problem.

And speed. I'm shooting on Tv at a 1/320 just in order to stop shake, tremor, wind movement. I'm thinking I need to shoot faster. And focus more carefully.

And learn about my camera.

Are you shooting at or too near the subject for the lens’s minimum focussing distance for the focal length you are using?

At half a metre distance at 55mm f10 focal length there will only be 20mm in acceptable focus. The near focus would be at 49mm and far limit at 51mm

At 1m distance, 55mm f10, 94mm nearest to 107 mm furthest will be in acceptable focus.

Also if the wind is moving the flowers then you will indeed need 1/320th shutter speed or even faster to get a really sharp image.

I suggest you zoom out a bit and stand back a bit to maximise your depth of field. f10 should be an ideal aperture to maximise it, so no need to adjust that further in my opinion.

You want to control your depth of field. You need to take the entire photo into account, not just the subject. Don't think of DoF as controlling what is in focus, you must also use it to control what is not in focus, and how defocused it is. In most of these flower shots, what I see is a central flower as subject, and everything surrounding it is "noise." Use DoF to throw that as far out of focus as you can. If some object is too close, move it out of the way or move your camera to take it out of frame. Our eyes look to the subject but the photograph is the entirety.

Yes but in at least one of the photos the flower itself is probably out of focus and probably due to the tiny depth of field in the zoomed lens too close to the subject.  Its all very well getting the background out of focus but at a minimum the main subject should be sharp. The issue here is that it’s not.

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