Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Common photo issues and how to fix them

Hey its Laura the Pest here with another photo tip today!

One of the most frustrating things about photography, especially when I began using my SLR, were the problems I had with photos and trying to figure out just what went wrong. These errors may also occur in point and shoot cameras. Here are 3 common picture problems, what the problem is and how to fix it!

1. Blurry images.

I think we've all had one or two of these special little guys pop up on our camera at one time or the other. It looks like a tornado went through between the time you snapped the picture and it popped up on the screen.

What is going on here? This is most usually a low light issue. Because the camera requires so much light to produce a picture, your shutter (that little thing that opens and shuts) has to be open for a longer amount of time. Then because you are not using a tripod, there is camera shake from hand holding the camera. Or in my case, your subject is a 2 year old and is not going to stand still that long. When photographing children, you require a lot of light so that you can snap those photos quickly and not get this blur. If you are using an SLR, your shutter speed should be at a minimum, 1/125. Preferably 1/200 if you are photographing children. If you are using a point and shoot, you may try turning off the red eye reduction feature, this can often slow your camera down and cause blurry images. You'll need to use your flash, move to a more well lit area or try again at a time of day with more light.

After seeing images like this, I went and got my speed lite, upped my ISO on my SLR and got a few better shots:

2. Dark Images

This image isn't even the worse I've had. I've had some that just don't show up at all. Because I have light room, I can easily look at my settings on my SLR and see exactly what was the problem. If you have an SLR, these dark images are usually because your aperture (or F stop) isn't open enough. I shot this at an 5.0 f stop and there just wasn't enough life to support that. The lower the light, the smaller the number you will have to use. This in itself can cause a lot of problems. The best way to fix this is to increase your light either with a flash, a reflector or moving your subject. If you are using your point and shoot and you are getting dark images, try again with the flash. With the lack of control that you have with an SLR, honestly there's not much you can do.

This is what I got once I moved my aperture to 2.0.

3. The color seems off.

These issues are when your photos seemed tinged with pink, blue, green or orange. This is usually a lighting issue. Your camera (both point and shoot and SLR) has options that you can choose to tell it what sort of light you are shooting in. This is called your white balance. Because certain lights put out more colors then natural sunlight, your camera must compensate to make your photos look realistic. If you are using an SLR, I highly recommend buying a gray card. They are inexpensive and made a huge difference in my photography and the time I had to put into fixing photos after the fact. If your colors are looking off, you need to adjust the settings on your camera.

I know that this picture in particular was affected because I was in my bathroom which has no natural light, just fluorescent light fixtures and I was using my flash. Both of those put out different colors and its hard for my camera to correct. If I had used my grey card, I wouldn't have had a problem. This is the fix I did in light room:

The bottom issue is light can make or break your photos. Your camera has all these different options and buttons but most of them have to do with working with the light, both its intensity and color. Having light room is such a great resource because you can see what your settings were at the time of the picture and often can spot your mistake within that.

Next week I will be posting about shooting in manual and what those different settings REALLY mean. Keep snapping those memories!

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