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Author Topic: crap portraits of me  (Read 3063 times)

alexturton

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crap portraits of me
« on: March 09, 2013, 06:37:13 PM »
I have a 5d3 and I do my best to take good shots of my family when we're out and about on holiday, but when it comes to photos of me no matter what instruction I give, everyone takes crap shots that are either blurred (Because they didn't hold the camera steady enough) or completely OOF because the camera picked an AF point which wasn't my face and they couldn't correct it.

I want to get some nice shots of me when on holiday (that aren't @ f11), what can I do to make it easier for people to use my 5d3?
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crap portraits of me
« on: March 09, 2013, 06:37:13 PM »

daniemare

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Re: crap portraits of me
« Reply #1 on: March 09, 2013, 07:25:50 PM »
I have the same problem. I an using 3 techniques to get better results (of my wife and I in front of the camera together)
1 - Scout for someone with a 60D or better, preferably with a red ring lens
      I feel this helps getting someone who has the basic technique down and who can understand instruction (see point 2)
2 - I am less worried what people think so I actually ask them to shoot (try) as I explain because I am trying something specific
3 - I put the cam in P mode or at least in auto AF. 9 out of 10 times you are the closest to the camera, thus if you arecovered by an AF point the cam should select you. Focus and recompose is lost on almost everyone (if point 1 did not work)

With these mykeeperrate is much better
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Orangutan

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Re: crap portraits of me
« Reply #2 on: March 09, 2013, 07:34:12 PM »
Are you asking strangers to take the photos, or asking your family?

1. P mode.  Does the 5D3 have a full auto mode?  Or set a custom setting for "clueless tourist  settings"

2. Tripod + remote

3. (for your family) Practice/experiment in advance to find out what works


emag

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Re: crap portraits of me
« Reply #3 on: March 09, 2013, 07:59:24 PM »
I dunno.  When I looked in the mirror this morning I looked crappy, blurred and OOF.  Kinda feel that way today also.

cayenne

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Re: crap portraits of me
« Reply #4 on: March 09, 2013, 08:05:36 PM »
I've given people (often waiters in restaurants in New Orleans) my camera on full blown auto..and they STILL can't seem to get a good pic with ME in it....
:(

RS2021

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Re: crap portraits of me
« Reply #5 on: March 09, 2013, 08:09:22 PM »
1) First set the AF to one of the "zone" modes and ask them to keep the "orange squares" on your face. Certainly do not use spot or single point. If they are really inept, perhaps even the 61-point automatic slection mode (large "tampon" shaped indicator) ;) In the latter case the camera typically chooses the closest subject so hopefully you are that object. I personally prefer zone AF I mentioned first in these cases. 

2) I think Tv mode might work bettert than even P mode, crank up the shutter speed to a reasonably high level as lighting will allow... with higher shutter speed works with wide open apertures giving you good bokeh and also minimizes the shake issue (get a sense of how fast the shutter speed should be using AV metering first wide open).... Increase ISO as needed to set shutter speed to minimize shake.

3) If lighting is particularly challanging, consider using a flash, if only as a fill. One assumes these are snaps and not studio level portraits in which case you hopefully won't be asking people who can't focus to take the picture.

4) Ask Gomer to take several shots so you get a few good ones ;)

Cheers

« Last Edit: March 09, 2013, 08:11:01 PM by RS2021 »
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Eli

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Re: crap portraits of me
« Reply #6 on: March 09, 2013, 08:17:49 PM »
Set one of the custom mode dials to Av, set aperture to what you want, set min shutter speed to 1/250 or 1/125 and auto iso, zone focus, lock focus priority, and you're all set.
Pretty much full auto mode, with controllable dof that you can preset the aperture to accordingly.

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Re: crap portraits of me
« Reply #6 on: March 09, 2013, 08:17:49 PM »

J.R.

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Re: crap portraits of me
« Reply #7 on: March 09, 2013, 08:23:28 PM »
Compose the shot yourself and get the AF off the shutter button and only on the back focus button. That way you can ensure that the focus will not change when someone else handles the camera.

Additionally, you could set up a custom setting of a fast shutter speed, reasonable aperture ... Say f/6.3 and auto ISO.
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Mr Bean

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Re: crap portraits of me
« Reply #8 on: March 09, 2013, 08:47:49 PM »
After a few attempts at explaining to folk about the focus points in the view finder, and still ending up with out of focus pic's, I've resorted to the green A mode (Scene Intelligent Auto mode). It uses all 61 AF points.

And to be sure, I get them to take 3-4 pic's, just in case. After all, it's digital ;)
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canon8

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Re: crap portraits of me
« Reply #9 on: March 09, 2013, 08:58:02 PM »
These are some excellent suggestions--which I will try to keep in mind! In scenic areas I'm happy to haul around a dslr or two, but when I give a stranger my camera to take a pic of me......I have much better luck if I hand them my iPhone. I will often look for somebody who has an iPhone or at least some recent smart phone. Then I only have to tell them to lower the camera a bit to not leave a big gap above my head (my experience is that invariably most folks will default to framing with the center of the image on one's face).

So it is not only that I am uncertain how well a random stranger will do with my 5D3--it is also that they will almost always produce a good photo with my little iphone.

expatinasia

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Re: crap portraits of me
« Reply #10 on: March 09, 2013, 09:27:07 PM »
I dunno.  When I looked in the mirror this morning I looked crappy, blurred and OOF.  Kinda feel that way today also.

+1  :D

The best is to stick your camera on a tripod and shoot with the timer. Seriously.

I have given my camera to pros (when we are covering the same event) in order to get a nice picture of yours truly, and have been shocked at some of the results. I even asked one if he was joking when I looked at the two shots he had taken, they were that bad! Now I rarely bother.
« Last Edit: March 09, 2013, 09:32:46 PM by expatinasia »
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distant.star

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Re: crap portraits of me
« Reply #11 on: March 09, 2013, 09:51:45 PM »
.
Can't give you much from a tech standpoint. It's the luck of the draw -- keep settings as simple and foolproof as possible and hope.

You may also want to think about karma. I know anytime I see tourists or families I offer to take a picture of all of them with their camera. I pay attention to background, get them posed well, make them smile a bit -- and take six or eight pics real quick. I've taken pictures of thousands of people that way over the years.

Maybe it comes back. Who knows!
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pwp

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Re: crap portraits of me
« Reply #12 on: March 09, 2013, 10:26:39 PM »
There you go...this is why people need to hire professionals...
They don't screw up.

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Re: crap portraits of me
« Reply #12 on: March 09, 2013, 10:26:39 PM »

RGF

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Re: crap portraits of me
« Reply #13 on: March 09, 2013, 11:14:37 PM »
If you want poised pictures, put the camera on a tripod, have someone fill in for you and prefocus and set the exposure.  Compose loose so you can crop later.

Tell them only to push the shutter button and not to touch anything else

Have them take 10 pictures of you.

Or spend time with the most promising member of the family and teach them the basic of photography.

ahab1372

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Re: crap portraits of me
« Reply #14 on: March 10, 2013, 01:20:12 AM »
If you want poised pictures, put the camera on a tripod, have someone fill in for you and prefocus and set the exposure.  Compose loose so you can crop later.

Tell them only to push the shutter button and not to touch anything else

Have them take 10 pictures of you.

Or spend time with the most promising member of the family and teach them the basic of photography.
If you go that far, you might as well go all the way and use a remote :-)

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Re: crap portraits of me
« Reply #14 on: March 10, 2013, 01:20:12 AM »