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  #1  
Old 06-29-2015, 07:20 PM
the_pledge the_pledge is offline
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Need help on getting sharper shots

I just picked up a DSLR not too long ago and I mainly shoot cars but I'm having a hard time capturing sharp images. Has anyone tried the free guide on www.learntoshootcars.com ? I found it on Google and I'm tempted to give it a shot. Anyone have any tips or should I just download the guide?_a_
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  #2  
Old 07-09-2015, 08:56 AM
fdriller9 fdriller9 is offline
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One thing photographers never mention is that only a handful of shots out of 100s of photos will be usable.

A lot is done in post processing. Learn photoshop and how to adjust exposure, contrast, add filters, sharpen images, etc.
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Old 07-21-2015, 10:55 AM
dhuzz dhuzz is offline
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There's mechanics and there's art.

Mechanics involves how to get right exposure (automatic on modern cameras), sharp image, colors to match what you want to produce, etc.

Art part is what you want in your image: how should lines, shapes and colors align. Think of it as art -- what an artist would need to think. What parts you want to focus, what to blur, where to deviate from reality and how much (since photo is always different from reality).

In my experience, I figured that if you keep the two separate, it was easier to learn. As Ansel Adams implied in one of his books on photography, a pianist's fingers move on the piano fluently. He doesn't need to usually think (in modern, think keyboard :-)). However, that doesn't produce great melodies...

Some quick tips:
* If you're doing stills (when the car is not moving), it's best to use a tripod. That stabilizes the camera, esp. if you shoot in low lights.
* If you set the camera to full program mode (or auto?) the backgrounds may blur. To increase depth of field, you can try to use the aperture setting directly. Change it to get more or less depth of field -- you will figure what you like.
* Try and test various color settings on your camera. With DSLR, the advantage is you can try many pics to figure out what works best.
* Never under estimate the ISO setting -- the higher the ISO, the more grain you'll have. So if you use tripod, try ISO 50 or 100 if you have it on your camera. If not, then you'll have to try to get speed to somewhere between 1/30 to 1/250 depending on how stable your hand is -- 1/250 usually gets sharp images in most cases.

If you want motion, that's a different game altogether. I haven't done that much, so I can't offer much.

The art part is where you need to forget all of the above and look in the frame and ask "does this delight me?" If not, then change and try again... practice makes perfect... At least, that's what I tried and figured the best way to learn.

More importantly, when I decided I was in it for learning photography as well, I enjoyed a lot more than when I was focused on getting the right pictures all the time. I got a lot of good photos too (although I mostly shot landscapes/nature...)
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Old 07-22-2015, 11:49 PM
satz satz is offline
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Also some lenses, esp zoom lenses, tend to be sharpest only in a narrow 'band' of their zoom range. eg at halfway point. So you need to take that into consideration when framing the shot.

Also some lenses are sharpest at a particular aperture, so that needs to also be taken into account. eg...if you use 'auto' exposure you might get the camera using an aperture that's not the sharpest (but still with the correct amount of light). This could result in a less than sharp image.

Also the sharpness setting in your DSLR. This is one thing that really annoys me, compared to non-digital SLRs. Setting it too sharp can result in too much edge enhancement, setting it too low makes the picture soft.


cheers

S
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Old 07-02-2016, 04:55 PM
matthewB matthewB is offline
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My advice:

(Its free and worth what you paid for it.)

Practice...but practice with purpose. Pick something to refine, depth of field for example, and go shoot at various apertures with your favorite lenses and see how the sharpness changes at f/2.8 vs f.8. Figure out how to create your photographs as art, as you see them in your mind, instead of taking snaps of whatever is in front of you.
Every time I pick up my camera and head out to shoot I try to learn something new or refine a technique I already know, with varying degrees of success.

Good luck, have fun.

-matt
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Old 12-27-2018, 04:28 PM
starlights starlights is offline
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Some great advice here. Here are a couple of tips from me:

1. Shoot at higher shutter speeds if handholding or use a tripod.
2. Use decent lenses.
3. Don't shoot at the widest aperture of your lens - stop down a couple of apertures (i.e. don't shoot at f-1.2/1.8/2.0 stop down to 3.5 - 5.6 range). Try to find the sweetest spot for your lens.
4. Shoot RAW and process in Photoshop or any other post processing software - Post process sharpening is as important as in camera sharpening - sharpen for your final output.
5. Practice, practice and then practice some more.

Last edited by starlights; 12-27-2018 at 04:30 PM.
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Old 11-20-2019, 09:53 AM
Santorini Blue Santorini Blue is offline
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Unless you want to get up before dawn, wait for a sunset.
Reflect that in your car as is it were a mirror.
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Old 01-23-2020, 01:38 PM
Apxadct76 Apxadct76 is offline
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Go out and buy yourself a circular polarizing filter!! Works wonders!! TRUST!!
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