Jump to content

Help! Having problems with photos

Recommended Posts

I've been working to take better pictures so that I can post things.

This last one is the closest I've come since I started.


M 100 f 5.6 ISO 200, camera set to micro close, no flash, using a Fuji Finpix S-7000


This one's the most successful so far because most of the parts I was trying to photograph are at least in focus this time.

However, not all, and some of the deepest recesses of the cockpit are still obscured by shadow, in spite of the fact that I have two very bright 5400K lights shining on it from right next to the barrel of the camera's lens.

Any suggestions for getting this better? I could really use the help.

Link to post
Share on other sites

To get more of the subject area in focus you should be shooting with a higher f-stop (equals smaller aperature). The smaller aperature will require

a longer shutter speed or you can crank up the ISO (I see you're only at 200). Increasing the ISO will introduce more noise which shows up as

graininess in the image when you magnify it.

Regular (non-flash) exposure is controlled by 3 variables


Shutter Speed

ISO (aka film speed)

The same given exposure can be arrived at with various combinations of the above variables.

All of this is explained in the Fuji manual BTW...see the stuff starting on page 37

If you want to eliminate shadows then you might want to try some fill-flash. A lot of people hate flash because they tend to 'nuke' people until

they glow. I used to be afraid of flash until I found there are actually 2 exposures happening when you use flash. The exposure the flash

works on is controlled by aperature and the ambient exposure is controlled by the shutter speed. Also it helps to get the flash off of the camera

and fired remotely...the built-in flashes are pretty much useless. My Nikon D80 lets me use the on-board flash to control a remote flash that I

have mounted in an umbrella stand with an umbrella to difuse the flash.

To experiment with the flash, stay in manual mode and start with a shutter speed of 1/200 working your way down to 1/60. Leave your aperature at a

good constant value that leaves most detail in focus ...say f8 to f16

Edited by ThatJeffGuy
Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey, thanks to everybody for the help. It's REALLY appreciated!

I'm having a tough time figuring out the manual.

For example:

On page 37, they describe aperture as "closed" and "open".

On page 38, they describe aperture as "narrow" and "wide".

But aperture on the camera is expressed as a number, if I'm looking at the right thing, from f2.something to f.8 and nowhere in the manual does it describe which number is "closed" or "narrow" (assuming that they mean the same thing). You know what I mean? I've got a better field of depth at the higher F numbers, so is "closed" or "narrow" a higher number?

I think this is probably a problem with translating a manual from Japanese to English. With some of the grammatical errors, it has obviously been translated.

In the setting I'm in right now, I don't have an F setting greater than 8. I'm not sure if the camera is capable of a higher f number in some other setting. I need to play with that.

You mentioned an F 16 setting...

Is an F setting higher than 8 something you routinely use?

What I did today was take a bunch of pictures of the same part set up the same way, changing one setting at a time, and going through all of the numbers for that setting.

M and F, right now. What I discovered was by changing that M number up (goes from 20 to 10,000), higher is darker. In fact, anything taken with F.8 and M above 400 or so is totally black.

Additionally, the higher the F setting, the darker the picture at the same M number, so where I have shadows at M 100 and F.5.6, I don't at M 80, F5.6, but changing M also changes the color slightly. The lower the M, the brighter the whole picture, but also the brighter the color specifically (like the shade changes too). The color is closer to actual in the shots with the shadows (M 100 or so at F 5.6). At F.8, the color is closer to actual at M 80 or so.

Oh, and I got something wrong with my two previous descriptions. I'm not in "micro" as I thought, I'm in "super macro", which means really, really close up (less than 2 inches from the part)

Link to post
Share on other sites

Aperture numbers are really expressed as fractions so f8 is really 1/8....so larger numbers mean a smaller opening. If yours only goes to f8 then that's as

high (small!) as it will go on your camera. f8 is still going to have a larger DOF (Depth of Field) than your current f5...in fact the way it works mathematically

each increase in f-stop (aperture) number 'halves' (doubles if going the other way) the amount of light coming through.

The 'M' you mentioned earlier I mis-interpreted to mean 'Manual' but from your last note it sounds like shutter speed. Once again these are fractions so

200 is really 1/200 of a second, 60 is 1/60th of a second. If you go much below 1/60 then you risk getting blurr in the photo as the camera moves

ever so slightly while you press the button.....this is where the tripod comes in..it can hold the camera perfectly steady as the shutter opens for say 2 _seconds_

(vs 1/2 second). The other trick people use is to use the self-timer feature that all cameras have so that you will get no blurr due to you pressing the

shutter release button (I have an infra-red trigger for that :))

The best analogy I can come up with for the ISO/Aperture/Shutter combination is to think of the light as water coming through an opening (the aperture) and

hitting a covered surface (the film in the old days..sensor nowadays). The covering is opened for a variable amount of time to let the water hit the surface.

Now for a given 'wetness' (exposure) of the surface material you can get the same amount of wetness by either varying the opening or changing how long

the surface is exposed. The other thing hard to put into the analogy is ISO but pretend that you have an ability to change the sensitivity of the bottom


You can find a tedious explanation of f-stop Here

You really see the relationship if you happen to have a light meter. I picked up a Sekonic L-358 for myself for Christmas and it takes all of the guesswork

out of exposure. For instance, with the current lighting over my work table I dial in ISO 100 and an aperture of f8 it tells me that I need a 1 second exposure.

If I change the ISO to 400 making the 'film' more sensitive to light while leaving aperture at f8 I get 1/4 second. If I bring the aperture down to f4 the meter

tells me 1/15 of a second. The lighting hasn't changed but manipulating 2 of the 3 dependant variables arrives at the same exposure. Why would you

change aperture then you ask?.....it's a creative decision. For portraits you usually want to blur the backgound to focus on the subject of the portrait. In

our application we want to go the other way...larger f-stop number...smaller aperture (because of the 1-over thing)...larger DOF

The fundamentals are a lot easier to pickup with digital because the pixels are free...not like in the old days when you had to wait to see you film pictures

ruined by improper exposure. :D

Adding the flash into the equation allows you to use a lower ISO and a higher shutter speed so you get proper exposure but no blurr...the downside is

dealing with flash...but like I mentioned earlier it's not that hard to figure out once you know about the 2 exposures taking place. If you want to really

get into flash you may have problems with your built-in as I mentioned they're usually crap-on-a-stick. Check in your manual to see if you can at least

alter the power setting manually...then you can dial it down to just fill in the shadows instead of nuking the entire subject

Here's a shot I took in Vegas from my hotel room a couple weeks back. I pointed my trusty light meter out the window, took a reading and it told me

f8 @ ISO 100 for 20 seconds...I dialled that into the camera and fired away


The light trails from the cars are due to their movement as I had the shutter open for 20 secs. Even this is a little over-exposed as I probably took the reading

closer to Penn & Teller instead of the Rio sign...so the Rio sign blows out a bit.


Link to post
Share on other sites

Try to use your Macro or super macro setting. Its symbol should be a tulip I think. Mine works by pushing the button once I get macro buy pushing it twice I get super macro. This gets closer to the object.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Try an aperture between f/8 and f/16. That should bring all of your image into crisp sharpness. And if you do not have a macro function on your camera (that's the little tulip)...then you'd better stand your tripod at least a foot away from your model and use the zoom to bring your cockpit into focus.

Link to post
Share on other sites
I can't offer any photography advice, but I can admire the work.

Excellent cockpit.

Thank you. I really appreciate that.

It's sort of a cheapo test model that I'd planned to use to overcome two hurdles; finishing something and learning photography. I picked up one of those Revel/Monogram Spitfire Mk II kits from a grocery store, and was trying to build it pretty much box stock. It turns out that it was too basic to photograph well, so I started adding stuff (like the seat belts, oxygen tanks, and levers on the cockpit sides) just to give it a little more depth.

I'm thinking It'll be my entry into the BoB group build.

I'm having some fun with it. It's more complicated than I thought it would be but it's turning out to be the best learning experience I've had in a long time. Not bad for $9.

I'm working on experimenting with some of the other settings mentioned above. I'll post more pictures soon.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...