Critique my settings, please

Joined
Feb 3, 2009
Messages
139
Location
Boulder, Colorado
I haven't posted anything for a while, so I might as well post up some photos I snapped from a moving truck yesterday while coming home from a camping trip somewhere 50 miles NW of Fort Collins, Colorado (8500ft)..

So...to explain sort of what I'd like critiqued are my settings. My buddy has been taking photos on DSLRs for about a month or two now and his photos are fantastic. I've been taking photos longer but he just "get's it", so I asked him for advice on shots towards the sun and how to achieve that without the sun dominating a photo or my metering to turn it black with a white dot. So for each individual photo I will post all of my known settings and would like critique on those and those alone. I was not trying to achieve anything by their composition or anything like that, just playing around with my settings. Again please critique my settings and settings alone and if you could give me advice on how to set it better to light well, but not dominate that would be appreciated.


Aperture- f/5
ISO- 200
Exposure- 1/2500s
Focal length- 18mm
Metering- Center Weighted

1.
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Aperture- f/5
ISO- 200
Exposure- 1/2500s
Focal length- 18mm
Metering- Center Weighted

2.
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Aperture- f/9
ISO- 200
Exposure- 1/800s
Focal length- 18mm
Metering- Center Weighted

3.
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Aperture- f/4.5
ISO- 100
Exposure- 1/640s
Focal length- 18mm
Metering- Center Weighted

4.
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Aperture- f/4.5
ISO- 100
Exposure- 1/1250s
Focal length- 18mm
Metering- Center Weighted

5.
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Aperture- f/4.5
ISO- 100
Exposure- 1/640s
Focal length- 18mm
Metering- Center Weighted

6.
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Anyway that's it for now...and other than some mild sharpening and color vibrance via lightroom on certain photos they're pretty much untouched.

I eagerly wait your critique
 
Joined
Aug 24, 2007
Messages
1,215
Location
Aurora, CO
Hi

The first thing that I notice is that your aperture is set too wide open
Since very little will be in focus, none of your shots will be as sharp as his (or anyone elses)

For landscape shots like those, your aperture should be f8-f16 - the greater DoF will get much more of the scenery in focus

You did a good job getting the sky a nice blue - did you use the AE lock on the sky first?
If so, that is the right strategy

Did you have the lens hood on?
If not, that will help with some of the lens flare - but with that much sun in the shot, I'm not sure it will be fully eliminated

Hope this helps
 
Joined
Feb 3, 2009
Messages
139
Location
Boulder, Colorado
I didn't use a lens hood no, and I don't have any idea what or how to use AE-Lock. I've tried looking it up before but with no luck. And I'll give the smaller aperture a shot when it gets sunny again...it's a bit gloomy today.
 
Joined
Dec 1, 2006
Messages
1,955
Location
Patriots' Country (missing San Diego)
To achieve the white dot and everything black pic, you need to meter just to the outside edge of the sun. Your shutter speed is too slow to for those images. You should probably be around 1/4000+

The other problem is, shooting landscape when the Sun is high in the sky is recommended without a Circular Polarizer or ND Filters.

As you can see from your last shot, some areas are too dark and others are blown out. Shooting in that light and getting a balanced image is near impossible without filters or maybe taking two pics and combining later in PP.

Canon Rebel? What are you doing here?
 
Joined
Feb 3, 2009
Messages
139
Location
Boulder, Colorado
<== Used to own a D50, moved over to the Canonites. I'm also here because this place tends to be more active than POTN.

Manual because I'm never happy with any of the preset modes.

Center weighted just to give it a shot. I noticed a small difference between that and the evaluative metering mode and I was happier with the results I got with the center weighted setting.
 
Joined
Aug 24, 2007
Messages
1,215
Location
Aurora, CO
I didn't use a lens hood no, and I don't have any idea what or how to use AE-Lock. I've tried looking it up before but with no luck. And I'll give the smaller aperture a shot when it gets sunny again...it's a bit gloomy today.
OK -
1st Use a lens hood - all the time, not just for these type of shots - it cuts down on lens flare, and prevents the front of the lens from being bumped into

2nd For AE Lock - go to the website below
http://www.usa.canon.com/dlc/controller?act=GetArticleAct&articleID=2547

3rd Shoot even if it is gloomy - you can still test your settings, without having a nice blue sky

4th Use AV mode, not manual - you only care about the Aperture in a landscape shot, not the shutter speed (unless you aren't on a tripod)

5th Don't shoot landscapes at midday, if you can help it

6th Buy the book Understanding Exposure by Bran Peterson - it is low priced and a fast read
 

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