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      07-14-2012, 11:10 PM   #1
ska///235i
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Help - what am I doing wrong with my photos?

I just picked up a Panasonic GX1 (M43) with the kit lens and also got a Olympus 45mm (potrait) lens.

I'm still very new to all this so wanted to get some tips from you experts. I've been using their pre-settings...for example the "Portait" & "Objects" pre-set to shot some close-up pics.

So the first pic, look great in the face area but notice how the lower body is blurry....how can I fix this?

same here with the cherries (2nd pic)....only the top few cherries are in focus

The last pic of the rupics cube...this one seems ok, what do you think?

Also, I have a question on lens. will the famous pana 20mm pancake lens be a better potrait lens then the Oly 45mm?
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      07-14-2012, 11:32 PM   #2
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The automatic modes don't allow you to control your lens aperture (f-stop). The more you close down the aperture (higher numbered f-stop) the greater your depth of focus will be. Try getting out of the automatic mode and setting your aperture to f/8 or higher. More of the image will be in focus, but the penalty will be that you'll need more light - possibly requiring either a flash or use of a tripod in dim conditions to avoid blur due to camera shake.
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      07-14-2012, 11:40 PM   #3
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so if I want to focus a tiny area...lets say a piece of rock, I'll use aperture priorty to the lowest (f1.8)
and if I want to focus on an entire person, then go around f10?
then if I want the entire background (landscape)....go all the way up?
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      07-14-2012, 11:58 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ska325xi View Post
so if I want to focus a tiny area...lets say a piece of rock, I'll use aperture priorty to the lowest (f1.8)
and if I want to focus on an entire person, then go around f10?
then if I want the entire background (landscape)....go all the way up?
Realize that the f-stop # is actually the inverse in relation to the size of the aperture. By that, I mean that the smaller the #, the larger the aperture. That is why you can achieve faster shutter speeds w/ a small f#...the larger the aperture, the more light coming in and hitting the camera's sensor. The larger the f#, the smaller the aperature so less light comes in and shutter speeds must be longer to give more time for adequate photon counts to make their way in.

Given that, your first statement is correct. If you want to 'single out' something within your field of view (FOV), use a smaller f# but make sure actually focus on the subject you want to single out and have in focus. This is done by either manually setting your camera's focal point or using manual focus.

Like vachss said, get out of auto mode. Auto mode + dSLR = oxymoron. See that graininess in your first pic? That's because, due to the low ambient lighting, your camera chose a higher ISO setting to try to maximize shutter speed. Likewise, it also chose a small f-stop (f#). At the very least, go to Program mode. There, you can at least control the ISO and guarantee you stay with a reasonable ISO setting that minimizes noise. The camera will still choose aperture and shutter speed in Program mode, but at least you have control over the ISO setting (and a few other things, too). Your best bet is to start playing in Av (Aperture Priority) and Tv (Shutter Speed Priority), depending on which is more important to you for what you're photographing.

WRT landscape, I think it's all relative to the distances you're shooting at. You don't necessarily need to go up real high with the f-stop, say f20 or f22. I think it's relative to the distance at which your shooting. Staying at something like f8 or f9, where you lens may be sharpest, will work perfectly fine. Most of what I shoot is wide/ultra-wide landscape stuff and I usually stay around f8/f9. For night photography, I may occasionally go real high, but it just depends on what I'm trying to do (creatively).

Hope that helps.
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      07-15-2012, 05:12 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ska325xi View Post
so if I want to focus a tiny area...lets say a piece of rock, I'll use aperture priorty to the lowest (f1.8)
and if I want to focus on an entire person, then go around f10?
then if I want the entire background (landscape)....go all the way up?
That's the rigbt idea. The specific aperture settings to use depend somewhat on your particular lens and camera. Some systems aren't very sharp at their most extreme wide and narrow aperture settings while some handle it well. My advice would be to experiment a bit. Go out and shoot some stuff at a wide range of apertures amd see wbich settings/ranges work best for you.
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      07-15-2012, 07:55 AM   #6
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great tips....will practice more
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      07-15-2012, 07:59 AM   #7
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This will help you a great deal.

http://www.dpreview.com/learn/glossary.asp
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      07-15-2012, 12:31 PM   #8
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Controlling depth of field is a creative tool. In the OP's first image there is a problem with white balance. Everything looks two brown or warm. This can be fixed in post processing.
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      07-17-2012, 07:50 PM   #9
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any free software to do simple editing? something easy to use
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      08-10-2012, 08:57 PM   #10
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GIMP is a popular, free software. I've never used it myself though. Some photography magazines also come with free software, such as older version of Photoshop Elements.
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