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July 25, 2012
Not sure where to post this because it’s a work in progress that reflects my preoccupations on the settings to take landscape sunset photos. Those are bad photo examples, I didn’t have any tripod and I don’t like the photos but want to know why, what’s wrong with the settings, what could be improved next time in a similar situation. Photos are in RAW format so if you think it’s better to bring up the shadows to add more detail on the dark ones please add to your advice. In what concerns post-processing I only reduce noise from higher ISO and cut some highlights from direct sun incidence. The settings are the following:
2955: 1/3200sec at f/4 ISO 400
2956: 1/3200sec at f/4 ISO 4000 (to see what happens)
2957: 1/8000 at f/4,2 ISO 2500
2959: 1/8000 at f/4,2 ISO 400
Do you think I should reverse the settings in lower shutter speed and f/11 for instance? I don’t know why I didn’t go with that at the time.
Latter I’ll post a photo on the same place taken at ISO100 with 8 sec or 5 sec, but for now this thing of direct sunset really confused me with the settings I should use!
Thank you for your advice.
August 11, 2011
Ok, Daniela. This is a way of thinking you should have, while deciding on your exposure:
1. ISO should be as low as possible, so start with 100.
2. For landscape you usually want to be around F8 – F16, because you want a broader DoF (not shallow). You usually want as much in focus as possible. (but it also depends on the lens you are using)
3. When adjust your shatter speed to which ever meter tells you. If you are holding the camera and there is no moving subjects, make sure that it is not slower then 1/60 – 1/125 to avoid camera shake (it also depend what length of the lens you use, if it have VR or how study you can hold the camera). If you have you camera on the tripod you can go slower when that.
But what if at ISO 100 and F11 meter tells you to use shatter speed of let say 1 sec and you don’t have a tripod. In this case you have no choice but use higher ISO, which will let you to use faster shatter speed.
Just be smart with it . Setting of 2957: 1/8000 at f/4,2 ISO 2500 make no sense. Why would you use such a fast shatter speed as 1/8000 and such a high ISO as 2500.
Also if you want a silhouette result as it is on the first and last picture, meter for the sky (point the camera on the sky while metering). If you want a landscape to be visible like on second and third picture, you should meter for the landscape.
July 25, 2012
Thank you so much for your guidance!
I think I went crazy when I saw so many people with tiny tripods that I started to think “Oh my God I don’t have a tripod it’s impossible to take this photo!” then I panic and blocked and forgot that other slider on the camera that allows me to change my F stops! I went crazy trying to balance the ISO with the shutter speed. Every time I pointed the camera to something it gives me different readings on the meter because there is so much sun light and so much shadows at the same time. It would be a great lesson if you focus on this subject. The sunset on Florence Italy is very strong, there was 40 degrees Celsius at late afternoon. For Portuguese people this is very hot, our normal summer temperature goes from 23 to 33 degrees Celsius.
Well, I laughed a lot (circa 5 minutes) with your commend when you said it makes no sense, because you are completely right.
I don’t know what is supposed to be a sunset picture, maybe it’s not my thing. I found those kind of silhuete photos to boring with no detail at all and then if we add detail the subject is under a shadow and as no interests also. Maybe if I study more this theme I change my ideas about it!
Another issue about the F-stops, is the focusing. I was keeping my F stops always from 3.5 to 5.6 that is what the 18-105mm lens do, if not changed, so with AF-S in one single point, I got so many things out of focus that I went crazy and start blaming the camera. So I went to AF-S with 39 focus points to focusing everything at different planes, and as long is not a portrait or something more specific it worked. But when I saw your comment today, I started to think, that maybe I can’t focus various things at different planes, or even a person (sometimes the face is in focus but the hands is not!) because of DoF provided by my obsession maintaining always the F3.5 to 5.6. What do you think about it?
August 11, 2011
If you want details in both sunset and city, HDR is the way to go. I will make an video about it very soon.
About aperture. The wider the aperture (smaller F-number), shallower your DoF – the less things are going to be in focus. Just try to put your camera on tripod, focus on something with single point and try to take a picture in aperture priority mode with different apertures. Then see that results you are getting at different aperture. This might help you to understand how your lens work. I would do it with every lens you have.
September 17, 2012
September 15, 2012
July 25, 2012
Ok here goes some editing of the 1st photo (2955). I didn´t edited the last one because the shutter is very fast so I wanted to chose the photo with more “normal” settings to post process. I make a “false” HDR of this picture also. I mean “false” because I made a more extreme editing on the same picture, and not as correct HDR procedure with bracketing and various images.
Another question I have is…imagine I want to take this picture with the more open apperture my lens could provide and I dont have a tripod with me at the moment….So I have the F4 for instance. Osaka reminded me that for landscape is good to have F8-F16 because of the DoF. Could we have the same DoF of F4 if we chose multiple focus points (on the 39 grid), instead F16 with single focus point? Thank you guys!
August 11, 2011
Daniela. Every lens is different in terns of DoF. It also depends how far from the subject you are and what lens of the lens you use. Either you use 39 points or one, DoF would not change. What can change DoF is where exactly you focus. The advantage of single point for me is that I can be more precise. I don’t know if you ever heard about hyper focal distance. There are some apps (like DOF Master for example) which can help you to figure out the hyper focal distance, depending on your lens, camera and aperture. Lets say you should Nikon D7000, 35mm lens at f/11. The hyper focal distance with be 18.8ft from you. So this means that if you focus at 18.8ft, you will have everything from 8.5ft (hyper focal distance / 2) to infinite in focus. I think I will have to make a video about too
July 25, 2012
Oksana, it will be wonderfull to have a lesson about this, because that kind of knowledge, is what separates good from amazing photos, even with a smaller equipment. I’ll love to know more about focusing.
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