Sunday, December 27, 2009

Photographing family

So, my prime did well over the holidays. However, shooting with an SLR gives you a handicap right out of the gate. People notice you & your camera. You wear it around your neck, and everybody says something to you about it. It's hard to get a candid. A longer zoom would help with that, but most long zooms don't have as low an f-stop as my prime, which means they wouldn't be as useful to me. Plus, even with IS, a longer focal length means more shake is likely. At least the prime is a shorter lens... slightly less obtrusive.

I gave my cousin Dave my Polaroid for Christmas. He took it out of the box and promptly shot off almost an entire casing of film, ha. I'm just glad he likes it. I'll miss it, but I honestly never use it anymore. It's kind of a hassle to bring along most places. But it's a neat little machine, and it makes pictures with character.

This was shot at ISO 800, f/1.8, and a shutter speed of 1/40. I was shooting quickly -- I could have taken a little more time to make sure the focus was right on, but I didn't, and it shows. Ah, well.

My prime lens did so much better in Gran's living room than the silly kit lens. Even with low, uneven lighting. This was also shot at ISO 800, f/1.8, shutter speed 1/40:

I changed the white balance significantly on those first two. The "auto"-white balance on my XT actually kind of sucks -- pretty much every single indoor photo is way off (too golden). Although, shooting with my new lens was fun because another cousin of mine just got a Nikon D3000, and he has no idea what his camera is capable of. He was wondering how I was shooting without a flash and actually getting good photos. So I got to explain a little bit about f-stops and what a "fast lens" is. Not sure he'll retain any of it, but it was fun.

This last one was taken in the bowling alley. I did very little post-processing for it other than cropping. Specs are ISO 800, f/2.5, and a shutter speed of 1/80:

I'm glad I remembered to try out some higher ISO shots. As you can see, this one came out really well. Just a little bit of noise when viewed full-size. I probably could fix it completely if I got some noise-reducing software like dFine. I should have tried a few at 1600, but maybe next time. All in all, I'm really proud of my little XT! Should have some more opportunities this coming weekend to experiment further with ISO.

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