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Author Topic: Vacation photo -I am frustrated  (Read 5553 times)

JPAZ

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Vacation photo -I am frustrated
« on: August 09, 2013, 09:31:47 PM »
Tell me what you do.  I am on a beach vacation with my wife.  There is a lovely sunset.  I ask someone to take our photo and, as usual, we are backlit, standing in the absolute center and cut off at the knees.  It always happens no matter how I dial in exposure compensation or how I set up the shot.  It is almost a certainty.  Then, I'll need to crop, try to lighten our faces, and fix the photo.  I always think that I wish that I could take the pic of ourselves.  I have, at times, used a tripod and a self timer, but on this trip I am traveling light.  Even setting the camera to full auto and gently tutoring the "photographer" does not help!

Maybe I need to take one of you along on my next trip.  What do you do?
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Vacation photo -I am frustrated
« on: August 09, 2013, 09:31:47 PM »

Jim Saunders

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Re: Vacation photo -I am frustrated
« Reply #1 on: August 09, 2013, 09:36:21 PM »
Tell me what you do.  I am on a beach vacation with my wife.  There is a lovely sunset.  I ask someone to take our photo and, as usual, we are backlit, standing in the absolute center and cut off at the knees.  It always happens no matter how I dial in exposure compensation or how I set up the shot.  It is almost a certainty.  Then, I'll need to crop, try to lighten our faces, and fix the photo.  I always think that I wish that I could take the pic of ourselves.  I have, at times, used a tripod and a self timer, but on this trip I am traveling light.  Even setting the camera to full auto and gently tutoring the "photographer" does not help!

Maybe I need to take one of you along on my next trip.  What do you do?


A vacation in exchange for photos, you say? 

...Anyway if you like beaches a lot, why not get a clamp so you can any sort of stake as a monopod and shoot with a wireless trigger?

Jim
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Harry Muff

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Re: Vacation photo -I am frustrated
« Reply #2 on: August 09, 2013, 09:42:47 PM »
I would never hand my camera to a stranger. If it's safe to do so, I'll place it on something and set the self timer.
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Mt Spokane Photography

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Re: Vacation photo -I am frustrated
« Reply #3 on: August 09, 2013, 09:46:49 PM »
I would have the assistant stand where you will be, and get close and take a exposure reading on the face.  Use spot if necessary.
Then set the camera to manual and enter the measured exposure.  It will likely blow out the background, that's because the DR is not wide enough to expose a bright sky and a shaded area.  Obviously, a reflector of some sort to put more light into the shaded areas would be great, but it would take a big one.  Fill flash is a simpler option to even up the lighting.  You will still need to experiment before you get it perfect.

Dylan777

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Re: Vacation photo -I am frustrated
« Reply #4 on: August 09, 2013, 11:00:01 PM »
P&S camera with face detection mode on is your solution. Just point and shoot ;D
« Last Edit: August 09, 2013, 11:09:22 PM by Dylan777 »
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scottkinfw

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Re: Vacation photo -I am frustrated
« Reply #5 on: August 09, 2013, 11:02:10 PM »
Handing gear to a stranger reminds me of that Chevy Chase movie where his camcorder was stolen.

Anyway, using a fill flash is a good idea.  Having a stranger with no familiarity with your camera is a surefire way to get a bad pic in this difficult lighting situation.

Why don't you put it into manual, expose properly for your wife, get someone to take the pic but be zoomed out (zoom out with lens or by foot), and then crop in later.  Be sure to check the pic first because people tend to cut heads and legs off.

Alternatively, let me know where you are going next time, and I may let you pay my way

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jdramirez

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Re: Vacation photo -I am frustrated
« Reply #6 on: August 10, 2013, 12:08:27 AM »
I didn't read anyone else's responses, but for a sunset photo, I'd say go with a 2nd shutter flash and maybe 1/30 of a second... maybe even 1/15 if the person has steady hands.  But with a stranger... I'd say 1/30 and set everything in manual before hand.  Have them use the wide angle so you can crop as you see fit. 
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Re: Vacation photo -I am frustrated
« Reply #6 on: August 10, 2013, 12:08:27 AM »

tpatana

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Re: Vacation photo -I am frustrated
« Reply #7 on: August 10, 2013, 01:52:52 AM »
I already posted this photo at other thread, but here goes again.

It's really simple. First take practice shots with your spouse, in Manual so you set up everything. When you are happy with the settings, hand the camera to someone who'll take the picture. Especially if you go wide enough, they can't cut off your feet.

Easy.

jdramirez

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Re: Vacation photo -I am frustrated
« Reply #8 on: August 10, 2013, 09:16:43 AM »
I already posted this photo at other thread, but here goes again.

It's really simple. First take practice shots with your spouse, in Manual so you set up everything. When you are happy with the settings, hand the camera to someone who'll take the picture. Especially if you go wide enough, they can't cut off your feet.

Easy.

So, please enlightening us about the setting...
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JPAZ

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Re: Vacation photo -I am frustrated
« Reply #9 on: August 10, 2013, 09:22:18 AM »
Thanks for all the replies.

It is not me who can't get the shot, it's the person to whom I hand the camera.  This even happens at home at a family event (although in that case the exposure is generally OK but the composition is based on "the rule of the middle  ;) ).

Here at the beach, I have my M with one lens, no flash, no tripod, and no reflector.  It is just frustrating, that's all. 

BTW, tpatana, nice shot.  Did you use fill flash?
« Last Edit: August 10, 2013, 09:26:02 AM by JPAZ »
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tpatana

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Re: Vacation photo -I am frustrated
« Reply #10 on: August 10, 2013, 12:38:54 PM »
So, please enlightening us about the setting...

Here's the settings from the exif:
Lens:   EF24-105mm f/4L IS USM Shot at 24 mm
Exposure:   Manual exposure, 1/100 sec, f/6.3, ISO 200
Flash:   Off, Did not fire

Like I said, you have to test and see for each situation. So e.g. if you take those settings above, you should still check how it comes at your location, with your light conditions, and tune if needed.

tpatana

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Re: Vacation photo -I am frustrated
« Reply #11 on: August 10, 2013, 12:40:19 PM »
BTW, tpatana, nice shot.  Did you use fill flash?

Thanks. That's one of my favorites from this year. Sometimes I get lucky :)

I though that one was with flash, I had plenty with both flash and no-flash during the week there and can't remember each situation. But the exif says no flash so I guess I have to believe that.

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Re: Vacation photo -I am frustrated
« Reply #12 on: August 10, 2013, 12:59:47 PM »
I already posted this photo at other thread, but here goes again.

It's really simple. First take practice shots with your spouse, in Manual so you set up everything. When you are happy with the settings, hand the camera to someone who'll take the picture. Especially if you go wide enough, they can't cut off your feet.

Easy.

That, and show him/her the pic to give an idea of the desired composition. Worked for me:



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Re: Vacation photo -I am frustrated
« Reply #12 on: August 10, 2013, 12:59:47 PM »

Kernuak

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Re: Vacation photo -I am frustrated
« Reply #13 on: August 11, 2013, 03:54:07 PM »
I think I've only been asked a couple of times, even when I've had my gear with me. Once on a local beach witha compact (actually rock shelves and one of my favourite landscape locations) and once in Spain, when a German couple asked me to use their DSLR. With the Germans, I asked what sort of shot he wanted, then changed some settings :P. It's always a difficult one though, but you best bet is probably to look out for someone with a good DSLR and hope they actually know how to use it properly, that way you have half a chance.
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JPAZ

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Re: Vacation photo -I am frustrated
« Reply #14 on: August 11, 2013, 05:12:26 PM »
Yeah.  I breath a slight sigh of relief when I see someone with a DSLR.  I'll offer to take their pic and then they can do mine.  No guarantee, but at least you have a chance!
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Re: Vacation photo -I am frustrated
« Reply #14 on: August 11, 2013, 05:12:26 PM »