Beginning Photography

The musings of a budding photographer

Archive for the ‘Problems’ Category


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I dropped the damn thing. Gargh. Fortunately I’ve pretty much gotten away with it. The camera body is fine, tip top 100% fine, no damage at all. The reason for that is that the lens took the impact. The glass is also fine, the only problem is the zoom part of the lens. It’s come ever so slightly loose at the long end (55mm, its an 18-55), it isn’t quite stable. This is only apparent when focusing, half press the shutter for focus and the lens moves a tiny fraction of a degree. An observer probably wouldn’t even notice it and it isn’t enough to affect framing, but looking through the view finder you see it happen and it’s just enough to be annoying.

Image quality is not affected at all, I’ve taken a few test shots today and they came out nice and sharp so I’m not rushing out to buy a new lens to replace it, this will be fine for the forseeable future. A good lesson to learn though, glad it happened now rather than when I’ve invested in some good glass. I was getting the camera off the tripod and to be frank I have no idea how I managed to drop it.


Written by James

January 27, 2010 at 7:45 pm

Posted in Off Topic, Problems

Yorkshire Sculpture Park

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Today was the day of the talkphotography sculpture park meet. Perfect for me, I can be there in ten minutes from walking out of the door. Unfortunately the light was about as inspiring as a puddle of mud, grey skies, no shadows, dreary lighting…. snore.

But enough of the moaning, to the piccies. First off, the golf balls

These three sit near the entrance and the standard shot is to get 10 yards away and get them all in frame. I went for a different perspective, up close with shallow depth of field.

Next up, a sculture of something

I’m tempted to have another crack at this one, I’m certain there is an image in here somewhere and I don’t think I’ve cracked it with this one. Comments/suggestions most welcome.

And finally, a wooden thingy.

No idea what it is, but I quite like the shot so no worries 😀

Overall another good learning experience. I learned a couple more things that don’t work, and realised that I should have taken shots from a bit further away from most of these scultures. I haven’t yet figured out how to make them pop with processing. Loads more images from the day still unprocessed so expect to see a few more over the coming days.

The best aspect of the day was really getting out there and meeting like minded people, I had a good chat with two or three guys from the forum and I expect we will organise something again soonish.

Written by James

January 17, 2010 at 7:25 pm

Emley Moor and a mistake

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With snow still covering the ground I went off to purchase walking boots just outside Wakefield. This entailed a trip near Emley Moor so I threw the camera in the car with the idea of testing out my walking boots and getting some nice photos. Here is a small selection, with a couple more on my redbubble.

A bit of a different take with this one, the bush up close framing the mast in the background.

I’ve processed this image for an antique look, its a look that looks great with pretty much all photos of Emley Moor Mast for some reason, I’ve had to resist the temptation to do lots of this

I think this is my favourite image of the day.

And finally for this set, a black and white

So, what was the mistake. Pretty simple, a little bit of snow got on the lens and it dried as a dirty smear. As a result in a large number of images I had a small rainbow that ruined the photos. Fortunately I have been able to remove it in the majority without too much trouble, in particular treating black and white has helped. The lesson learned, always make sure the front of your lens is clean before shooting, such a small detail could end up ruining your best ever photo.

Written by James

January 10, 2010 at 8:04 pm

Monitor Calibration – Temporary Fix

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I’ve found a solution to the calibration problem. Taking a number of coloured objects outside I photgraphed them in natural light with all in camera corrections turned off. I exposed so that the image on the LCD looked exactly like the scene, proper colour representation and brightness.

I then uploaded the images to computer and fiddled about with the colours on the system until the image on screen matched the image on the LCD on camera, which of course in turn matched the scence. That should mean my monitor is now calibrated. Any prints will be slightly darker due to the medium, but the colour representation should now be spot on, so I’m a happy tog once more.

Written by James

January 9, 2010 at 4:44 pm

Nature and trees

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After yesterday’s black and white a return to colour from the same shoot, but with different interpretations. In this first we see a bit of a “light tunnel”, facing towards the sun and forcing most of the exposure down nice and dark. I love the effect here. The exposure was 1/320 at F8.0.



In this second image the sun was behind and to the right reflecting far more from the trees. As a result the colours are much brighter. I havn’t done any post processing on these really other than a quick crop of the second image. Exposure here was 1/160 at F4.5


I’m still not convinced I’m hitting focus on these shots, at 100% they appear a little soft to me. However I do wonder if this is simply my eye not being properly trained. I tend to look for detail to judge sharpness, when taking close up shots such as the trees seen below it is instantly obvious if focus is achieved by the level of detail. At greater ranges not so much. I think a couple of 100% crops for some feedback might be useful.

Written by James

November 13, 2009 at 10:50 am

Improving focus

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Much experimentation has brought about some useful information. During landscape shots focus is only possible using a tripod and either remote release or timed shutter release to prevent camera shake, unless the shutter speed is extremely high. The tiniest fraction of movement is magnified due to the distance to the subject. It’s possible that an image stabilising (IS) lens would help this, but since I don’t have one I don’t know, I’m using the stock 18-55 that came with the camera.

Which brings me onto point 2. It seems that the 18-55 stock lens is incapable of focus above an aperture of around F9. I’ve been trying to take photos of a place setting indoors this evening, tripod and shutter release on delay. If I use a low aperture I get great focus but accompanying shallow DOF. If I increase the aperture to get better DOF I lose focus.

It’s an annoyance and maybe I will find that I am actually doing something wrong, but as of right now I don’t know what. At least it sets up the paramaters I can use when I want crystal shots of an object at 100% res.





Written by James

November 7, 2009 at 9:25 pm

Focus problems

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It seems I am destined to be plagued by focus issues. This morning I awoke at 6:30 to see the most amazing sunrise from my window and not wanting to waste the opportunity I grabbed the camera. I stuck it on the tripod in the hope of achieving focus, the image below is one of the resulting shots.


At this resolution I really like it. I’ve done no post-processing on this image other than a quick crop. Problems emerge when we zoom in. Below is a 100% crop of the image.



This problem has plagued me with all landscape shots so far. I don’t think it can be equipment because the “normal” focal distance shots I take come out pin sharp. It has annoyed me this morning as these images would have been stunning in focus. Something to learn.

Written by James

November 6, 2009 at 10:34 am