C&C STREET PHOTO (WHAT WENT WRONG)

Discussion in 'Comments and Critique' started by smartiepants, Aug 11, 2017.

  1. smartiepants

    smartiepants Mu-43 Regular

    154
    Aug 17, 2014
    UNITED KINGDOM
    spent last Sat at a music festival trying to take some candid street photos with disappointing with results and cannot work out what I was doing wrong
    I dont generally do much street work so may need more practice but in 90% of my photos the subject I was trying to capture is out of focus and I cannot work out why....
    examples below
    35613776104_79bbb36a51_b. ZZ Silver TOP by Martin Grindley, on Flickr
    35613789084_3b8e172b38_b. Blue Hair by Martin Grindley, on Flickr
    36280532602_a2224bd4f1_b. the Pick-up by Martin Grindley, on Flickr
    35641025533_cf5a656bd9_b. Bearded Band Leader by Martin Grindley, on Flickr

    you can see the settings from the flickr info, I tried various settings all producing results that i'm not happy with, all taken with my prime 45mm 1.8, was I just having a bad day or have I made a bad choice of lens for this type of work,

    any tips & Critique most welcome

    thanks
     
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  2. TNcasual

    TNcasual Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Dec 2, 2014
    Knoxville, TN
    What AF method are you using?

    The first image is in focus, its just that the focus is on the man looking away on the right. His hair and ear are in focus. The second image appears as though the woman's shoulder is in focus. The third one seems to be in focus to me, although it appears to have low contrast. The last one also seems to have focus, but it appears that the subjects are moving, maybe that is where you are losing sharpness. Also, f/4 is a little narrow to get the entire scene in sharp focus, as there seems to be a distance between the subjects.

    Since you upload fairly small files, its hard to look real close at focus points and sharpness.

    I would suggest using single point focus. Then focus and recompose or move your focus point around to where you want it.
     
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  3. smartiepants

    smartiepants Mu-43 Regular

    154
    Aug 17, 2014
    UNITED KINGDOM
    Thanks
    The last two I have played about with on lightroom and maybe gone a bit far with the processing, the first two I shot from the hip so wasn't looking at the screen, I'm a bit of a narrow depth of field junkie so may have to rethink my settings if I'm going to shoot that way
     
  4. TNcasual

    TNcasual Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Dec 2, 2014
    Knoxville, TN
    Shooting from the hip and narrow DOF don't go together very well. If you want to shoot from the hip, you need to go hyperfocal - the opposite of narrow DOF or zone focusing.
     
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  5. PakkyT

    PakkyT Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 20, 2015
    New England
    A couple things to suggest.

    One is to simply go out with that lens again, city street, a park, etc. where there are people and practice some more to determine what might be the issue. When you are at a festival you tend to be trying to capture moments and maybe not having the time to work out your shooting method. At a practice place you can take your time and shoot a lot of throw away shots simply to work out your settings and technique. It will also help you determine if perhaps your particular copy of the 45/1.8 might not be one of the better ones. It sucks to find out you have an issue with technique, settings, and or equipment WHILE you actually need them at something that can not be done over again.

    Second, for things like a festival, try switching to low speed sequential shooting. Then every shot you take actually hold the button down to grab 3 shots or so. Many times that first shot can be a bit off (camera shake from pressing the shutter, subject suddenly moving, etc.). With a short burst instead, you may find the 2nd or 3rd shot is spot on. You just have to be ruthless when you are back to your computer culling all but the ones that turned out how you wanted since you will now have three times the number of shots to work through.

    A quick look at your shots in Flickr with the exif, nothing in particular stands out as being THEE problem. Shutter speeds look normal, apertures look normal, so it may just be practice or sequential shooting to ensure you get what you are envisioning when you take the shot.
     
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  6. smartiepants

    smartiepants Mu-43 Regular

    154
    Aug 17, 2014
    UNITED KINGDOM
    Thanks guys I very much appreciate you input, guess I need to rethink and go out and practice

    I'm unaware of any difference with the 45 1.8 lens that olympus make!
     
  7. PakkyT

    PakkyT Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 20, 2015
    New England
    Not that they make different versions, but maybe not so stringent quality control and manufacturing variances with some lenses models you can get copies of a particular lens that maybe not as sharp, or other minor issues, as the one on the shelf next to it. I have read accounts specifically on this lens from people who have owned more than one copy finding that they can be better copies than others. And besides personal opinion, this might also explain why sometimes you see one person say it is the sharpest lens they have ever used and the next person claiming it is a tad soft.

    EDIT to add:

    Examples of past discussions of this...
    My 45mm f/1.8 has been a disappointment. What to do?
    45 1.8 vs 12-40 pro
     
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  8. WT21

    WT21 Mu-43 Legend Subscribing Member

    Feb 19, 2010
    Boston
    For #1 -- reflection in the mans glasses are in focus, as is the man to the right as was mentioned, so you must have caught one of those. What was your focus setting? Point? Area?

    Blue hair (#2) -- nothing seems to be sharp and you have a (reasonable) shutter speed. Is there a chance you moved the camera quickly as you were trying to get a clandestine snap in?

    #3 looks in focus to me and I can't tell with #4. As someone else noted, pics are pretty small to really see close. The bigger issue with #4 is the shadows on the face on the person on the right (assuming that's your subject?). If you shot in RAW, trying locally lifting the shadows a bit. Otherwise, the subject is a bit lost.
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2017
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  9. smartiepants

    smartiepants Mu-43 Regular

    154
    Aug 17, 2014
    UNITED KINGDOM
    Thanks, I alway shoot raw so will give it a go, I think I have a stealth "anti face detection" setting on my camera that keeps switching itself on :biggrin:
     
  10. Drdave944

    Drdave944 Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Feb 2, 2012
    You seem too close to your subjects. You are using a equivalent 90mm lens for real close work. Creative cropping is usually needed. If I were to want to get that close I would use a 17 mm lens. IS problems are accentuated,close in. Also you have to watch the lighting.For example the bearded band 's lighting would be improved by moving to your left.
     
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  11. gryphon1911

    gryphon1911 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 13, 2014
    Central Ohio, USA
    Andrew
    One other thing that bit me early with the 45/1.8. Check the focus settings. If the camera is in AF+MF, I found it very easy to accidentally bump the MF ring on the 45/1.8 and bumped it a ton. I thought at first I had a defective lens at first until I realized that. Make sure something like that is not happening to you.
     
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  12. ibd

    ibd Mu-43 Regular

    55
    Jun 5, 2016
    Another thing to consider is the focal length you used. At 90mm FF equivalent, most people would consider that lens "too long" for usual street photography. Of course, this is up to your personal preference. However, A wider focal length gives you some advantages that might be related to what makes you unhappy about these shots:
    1. Larger depth of field, which makes it easier to have your subject in focus
    2. Less blur from camera shake, which I think is visible in shot #2
    3. Higher chance to get your subject in the frame -- you can always crop in post to some degree.
     
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  13. Joe Smith

    Joe Smith Mu-43 Regular

    198
    Mar 6, 2016
    Shooting from the hip and narrow DOF do go together very well if you have a camera with a tiltable screen which lets you focus and shoot by tapping the screen. That's why I much prefer a tilting screen over a swiveling one. (That said, I'd hardly call f/7.1 or f/5.6 on MFT, as used in Pictures 1 and 2 above, "narrow DOF".)
     
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  14. felipegeek

    felipegeek Mu-43 Enthusiast Subscribing Member

    146
    Jan 8, 2014
    Miami, FL
    Felipe
    @smartiepants@smartiepants I was wondering how close you were getting because they seemed too tight. I love my 45mm but I wouldn't generally use it for close quarters candid street shooting. I used to shoot more street with the 19mm Sigma a couple years ago and have since done less but when I do it's usually the Oly 25mm. Sometimes I've thrown on my old Minolta 50 1.4 (100mm equiv) or the Oly 45 but in those cases I'm usually shooting subjects on the street that are expecting to be photographed like street musicians and performers.

    EM5 MkII w/ Oly 25 - Shot while crossing the street on a weekend morning in Coral Gables. With the 45 it would have been tighter and still a good shot but I retain the flexibility of cropping this to the same FoV. I liked it the way it was at 25mm after a bit of straightening.
    30435752111_e20f0c3e3b_b. Huh by Felipe Vidal, on Flickr

    EM5 Mk II w/ Oly 45 - Shot at a nighttime street festival in Coral Gables, FL.
    29889774223_38084d9258_b. Untitled by Felipe Vidal, on Flickr

    EM5 Mk I w/ Oly 45 - Shot while waiting in my car for wife to arrive at metro station. Here the extra reach was really needed.
    30435259321_359698d1b8_b. Safety and Security by Felipe Vidal, on Flickr

    EM5 Mk I w/ Oly 25 - Shot in NYC subway. If it were the 45 I might have had a pretty good portrait but I would have lost context and likely blurred the shot from camera movement.

    30485681466_8c3cb01bc9_b. Madame Blue waiting on the M
    by Felipe Vidal, on Flickr

    EM5 Mk I w/ Oly 45 - Shot in a Miami Metromover (a small, slow-moving downtown transit car) This is one that was pretty tight. I didn't want to be obvious and I found the tattoos, cig, and sneakers as the interesting combination so I did not aim for upper body.

    Of course, everyone of these images has been massaged in some way so they are not entirely representative of exactly how they looked when shot. I do end up throwing away the majority of my street shots. From shoddy composition to badly blurred I screw them up most of the time. All I can say is keep trying.

    Good luck,
    -felipe
     
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  15. Steven

    Steven Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 25, 2012
    USA
    Wow, that last photo is great! The blue dress and blueish lighting inside the train cars work so well together. only 1/20sec too. Bravo!
     
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  16. Steven

    Steven Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 25, 2012
    USA
    These are all good. I especially like the guy(wrestler?) with mustache :)
    45mm/1.8 is a great street photography lens. Maybe my favorite right now. It brings you close enough to make things personal but not so close that your presence affects the way people act. I also like the 75mm/1.8 so , what do I know?
    I mostly use it wide open, to get take advantage of what little DOF blur m43 offers. It also brings up the shutter speed, the best way to freeze movement and make sure photos are sharper. Sometimes I will bump up the Auto ISO to start at ISO400 to force it even higher, because it's clean enough.

     
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  17. smartiepants

    smartiepants Mu-43 Regular

    154
    Aug 17, 2014
    UNITED KINGDOM
  18. Steven

    Steven Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 25, 2012
    USA
    I like the color photo a lot more. It's just really nice with all the shades of red.
     
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  19. mikepeters

    mikepeters Mu-43 Rookie

    11
    Jun 11, 2013
    New Jersey
    Mike
    It's really up to you to make sure you choose your focus point correctly. If your main subject is off center and you're relying on the camera to choose the right spot to focus on, you will always be disappointed.

    I shoot on the street and mostly shoot wide open, ranging from 1.4 to 1.7, and I make sure the AF patch is where my suject is in the frame. On my Lumix cameras it's easy with the touch screen, vet with the my eye in the EVF.

    If you want to shoot from the hip, or without looking, get close enough to fill your frame and center your subject, and use a lens in the 15-25mm range.

    Always remember, the cameras are just a stupid computer and it's the users responsibility to make the right choices in focus point and exposure compensation. If you abdicate that responsibility to an algorithm, expect to be disappointed.

    If my photo is out of focus or poorly exposed, it's my responsibility.

    GH5, 20mm @ 1.7...

    IMG_0998.JPG
     
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  20. CWRailman

    CWRailman Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    956
    Jun 2, 2015
    Scottsdale, Arizona
    Denny
    Maybe I missed it but have you said what you do NOT like about these images? What were your expectations and how do you feel that they were not met? It's one thing to ask other's their opinions of your work without explaining what it was that you were trying to achieve. However, nobody can tell you whether you achieved your purpose or not and everyone's vision of how they would have captured the shot and maybe even what equipment they would have used, is different so unless you are looking to just copy others work you need to explain YOUR vision. Were you out just popping shots or did you have some purpose in mind? Maybe there is nothing "wrong" with the shots, outside of some technical issues. Maybe it's just your perspective/critique of your own work that has you thinking something is wrong but only you can tell us. Watch youtube videos from some of the great street shooters and you will see what they try and achieve with their photography. If nothing else study the work of this shooter who until rather recently was virtually unknown. Tell us what you think you did wrong. If it's processing of your street shots you are not happy with then maybe check out this video.
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2017
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