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Model
KRISTEN MARIE
Posts: 484
Toronto, Ontario, Canada


What are the best settings on a canon rebel?
If your using (5) 65W bulbs of fluorescent lighting.

My face shots seem to be coming out great: http://i.imgur.com/pk4QSr0.jpg

But the full bodys not too much: http://i.imgur.com/H5hyqra.jpg

It seems they have a bit of grain to them. Any tips?

(and please do NOT reccomend other lighting, I JUST purchased the lighting I have now.. I am not upgrading for a while) I just want tips on the settings to use on my camera, or where to position the lighting / the subject.

Oh & if your wondering why a model is asking this, I work for my husband who's a newly photog, and we are working together... we're both getting into photography.

Thanks :-)
Mar 26 13 11:34 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
SayCheeZ!
Posts: 17,754
Las Vegas, Nevada, US


I'm not seeing much grain to either photo, but it may just be because of the monitor and lighting conditions in the room I'm in.  For the purposes of this discussion I'll presume that the full body shot is grainy and the headshot isn't... and the likely reason behind it.

You're using a white background.  Either the camera's metering system, the image processing software, or BOTH are being fooled by it.

The model is taking up most of the space in the headshot.  Only some of the background is seen.  The camera meter (and/or software) is mainly measuring the light falling on the face because that's what's taking up most of the frame.

The backgrond is much more visible in the full body shot.  The metering / software is calculating some of that backdrop in the exposure.

Because the average scene has about 12% to 18% reflectance, the metering system / software is trying to make the scene match it's exposure reading.  That's why the background is coming out more of a neutral tone (gray with blue hue) instead of a pure white.

If you have a spot meter, just get the reading from the models face.  If you don't have a spot meter, zoom in or get close to the models face to get te proper exposure reading, then go back to wide angle or step farther back without changing your exposure setting to get the whole scene. 

What does exposure have to do with grain?

More digital information is in the hiighlights than in the shadows.
If you underexpose an image and then try to brighten it up afterwards it will have a more grainy appearance because the digital information just isn't there.

If you overexpose an image and then pull the levels down a bit when processing the image, it will look much better and grain won't be evident.  That's because there's much more digital information in the highlights to work with.

Many shooters actually use a method where they overexpose in the camera and pull down the exposure in processing because it can/does create a better photo with more detail, however if you add too much exposure (blowing out the highlights) this method will actually make the final image appear worse than just doing a proper exposure from the camera.
Mar 27 13 12:01 am  Link  Quote 
Model
KRISTEN MARIE
Posts: 484
Toronto, Ontario, Canada


SayCheeZ!  wrote:
I'm not seeing much grain to either photo, but it may just be because of the monitor and lighting conditions in the room I'm in.  For the purposes of this discussion I'll presume that the full body shot is grainy and the headshot isn't... and the likely reason behind it.

You're using a white background.  Either the camera's metering system, the image processing software, or BOTH are being fooled by it.

The model is taking up most of the space in the headshot.  Only some of the background is seen.  The camera meter (and/or software) is mainly measuring the light falling on the face because that's what's taking up most of the frame.

The backgrond is much more visible in the full body shot.  The metering / software is calculating some of that backdrop in the exposure.

Because the average scene has about 12% to 18% reflectance, the metering system / software is trying to make the scene match it's exposure reading.  That's why the background is coming out more of a neutral tone (gray with blue hue) instead of a pure white.

If you have a spot meter, just get the reading from the models face.  If you don't have a spot meter, zoom in or get close to the models face to get te proper exposure reading, then go back to wide angle or step farther back without changing your exposure setting to get the whole scene. 

What does exposure have to do with grain?

More digital information is in the hiighlights than in the shadows.
If you underexpose an image and then try to brighten it up afterwards it will have a more grainy appearance because the digital information just isn't there.

If you overexpose an image and then pull the levels down a bit when processing the image, it will look much better and grain won't be evident.  That's because there's much more digital information in the highlights to work with.

Many shooters actually use a method where they overexpose in the camera and pull down the exposure in processing because it can/does create a better photo with more detail, however if you add too much exposure (blowing out the highlights) this method will actually make the final image appear worse than just doing a proper exposure from the camera.

Hm, this is kind of confusing, but will give it a shot! big_smile

Mar 27 13 12:23 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
SayCheeZ!
Posts: 17,754
Las Vegas, Nevada, US


less confusing:

* If you take a photo of a persons face, it will usually come out correctly.

* If you take a photo of snow (or your white background) the camera meter will force the camera to make it gray.

* If you take a photo of black dirt, the camera meter will force the camera to make it gray.

-----------------------------------------------------------------

If you aim the meter at an object such as a persons face and get your exposure reading from it.  The exposure will come out correctly.

* If you get close up and aim the meter at an object such as a persons face while they're standing in the snow (or in front of your white background) the exposure will come out correctly, and the snow will appear brighter.

* If you get close up and aim the meter at an object such as a persons face while they're standing in black dirt (or in front of a black background) the exposure will come out correctly, and the dirt will appear darker.

In short, aim your exposure meter at the thing you're trying to expose properly.  If that thing is only in a small part of the photo, you have to zoom in or get closer to insure that you're obtaining the proper exposure reading from that object and nothing else.
Mar 27 13 12:52 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
R_Marquez
Posts: 4,608
San Francisco, California, US


There are a couple of things that come into play here.

If you are doing full body, you will not see as many details as the close ups because you are still working with 12megapixels and therefore, less pixels are being used for the same area. It sounds silly, but many people wonder why their full body shots don't show as many details as the close ups, and it's usually because they're not taking into account that less pixels for the face = less details.

Also, since you likely have to pull your light back, it also means that you need to use higher ISO, which means that you'll lose details when reducing noise. If you're not running any noise reduction, then the camera does it for you when shooting jpeg.

The full body shot may be slightly out of focus, but that might just be softness due to high ISO and a wide open aperture on the lens. Motion blur comes into play also.
Mar 27 13 01:00 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Photoarray
Posts: 235
Crown Point, Indiana, US


Just curious...  what settings were used to take those shots?


ISO

Shutter

Aperture
Mar 27 13 01:13 am  Link  Quote 
Model
KRISTEN MARIE
Posts: 484
Toronto, Ontario, Canada


Photoarray wrote:
Just curious...  what settings were used to take those shots?


ISO

Shutter

Aperture

400 ISO

f4

On AV mode, and with flash on.

Mar 27 13 01:15 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Sedition
Posts: 273
Buffalo, New York, US


What lenses do you have available?
Mar 27 13 01:31 am  Link  Quote 
Model
KRISTEN MARIE
Posts: 484
Toronto, Ontario, Canada


Sedition wrote:
What lenses do you have available?

Only the standard one thats on the camera.

Mar 27 13 01:35 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Sedition
Posts: 273
Buffalo, New York, US


I would highly recommend picking up the 50 1.8 when you get some change together. It's cheap! (for a lens and I have started to see them at best buy)
http://www.amazon.com/Canon-50mm-1-8-Ca … B00007E7JU

Every shot on my tumblr 18+ http://sedition1216.tumblr.com/ is shot using that lens and 3 150 watt floodlights.
Mar 27 13 01:43 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Phantasmal Images
Posts: 573
Boston, Massachusetts, US


Sedition wrote:
I would highly recommend picking up the 50 1.8 when you get some change together. It's cheap! (for a lens and I have started to see them at best buy)
http://www.amazon.com/Canon-50mm-1-8-Ca … B00007E7JU

Agree 100%, it's a great lens for the money.

Mar 27 13 01:59 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
EBAnderson
Posts: 272
Springfield, Ohio, US


Your white balance is off.

It's much more noticeable in the full body shots, but it's affecting both images. The whites in your eyes have a bluish cast as does the white part of your earring. I'm guessing the background in the body shots ought to be white as well. Presumably the wall is.

Anyway, there's no pure white in either image.

Most likely you have the white balance set for daylight and with fluorescent lights this will give you the bluish cast that's present. Alternatively, you might have the camera set on AWB (average white balance) and it's being fooled by the lighting.

Look in your camera's manual to see how to adjust the white balance setting. It's pretty easy to do. You may have to play with different settings. Some software will let you change it after you've made the image, but it's easier to get right from the get-go.

Here's a very easy test. Take a photo of a pure white sheet of paper under your lights. If it doesn't look white when you see it on the monitor, the color balance is wrong.

(To the other photographers reading this, yes, it's a gross simplification of setting color balance, but they're beginners.)

Once you get the color balance approximately right, your image quality will improve.

Good luck.

Edit: I just noticed that you're using a flash too. The flash and the fluorescent lights are what's clashing as the flash is balanced for daylight. This is fixable, but it's not quite as easy to do. If other lights really aren't an option, shoot with one source or the other, but blending them will cause you issues until you have more experience.
Mar 27 13 06:26 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
AB Studios
Posts: 14
Salina, Kansas, US


Out of curiosity, why are you using a preset?

Try this....
Put camera in manual mode
set the white balance to flash or auto (try both to see which gives best results for you)
ISO 200
Use shutter and aperture to control exposure
Mar 27 13 07:05 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Robert Mossack
Posts: 1,243
Joplin, Missouri, US


I would say your white balance is a bit on the cool side. Try to set it for the type of lighting you are using in camera, and make sure you are shooting in RAW so you can tweak it in photoshop if need be. And I would recommended using the exposure compensation controls to fine tune the exposure if you want to continue shooting In "A" mode, or better yet, learn to shoot in manual.  Pretty much, the more you make the decisions rather than letting the camera make them, the better.
Mar 27 13 01:21 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Adam J Caldwell
Posts: 289
London, England, United Kingdom


AB Studios wrote:
Out of curiosity, why are you using a preset?

Try this....
Put camera in manual mode
set the white balance to flash or auto (try both to see which gives best results for you)
ISO 200
Use shutter and aperture to control exposure

This.

Your husband is not going to learn if he continues to use the camera in the AV mode.

Sure its useful when you are shooting landscapes, or when you are taking snap shots on holiday, but if he wants to take photography seriously he needs to use how to use manual mode.

Plus, your husband is much smarter than his camera...sometimes (if not most of the time) his camera will get it wrong, or not quite right...

Happy shooting, and posing!

Mar 27 13 01:38 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
KRISTEN MARIE
Posts: 484
Toronto, Ontario, Canada


Adam J Caldwell wrote:

This.

Your husband is not going to learn if he continues to use the camera in the AV mode.

Sure its useful when you are shooting landscapes, or when you are taking snap shots on holiday, but if he wants to take photography seriously he needs to use how to use manual mode.

Plus, your husband is much smarter than his camera...sometimes (if not most of the time) his camera will get it wrong, or not quite right...

Happy shooting, and posing!

Very true, I've heard quite a few photographers refer to M mode.
We'll try that next shoot. Thanks so much.

Just 1 thing, when using M mode, what is the best ISO/color setting?

If we're using fluorescent lights, shouldn't the color temp be set to fluorescent lighting on the camera?

Cause that is what we're doing, and ISO is usually on 200-400.

Mar 27 13 02:46 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
B R U N E S C I
Posts: 25,319
Bath, England, United Kingdom


http://www.amazon.com/Light-Science-Mag … 0240812255

The best $30 you'll spend on your photography.




Just my $0.02

Ciao
Stefano

www.stefanobrunesci.com
Mar 27 13 02:59 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
SayCheeZ!
Posts: 17,754
Las Vegas, Nevada, US


KRISTEN MARIE wrote:
Very true, I've heard quite a few photographers refer to M mode.
We'll try that next shoot. Thanks so much.

Just 1 thing, when using M mode, what is the best ISO/color setting?

If we're using fluorescent lights, shouldn't the color temp be set to fluorescent lighting on the camera?

Cause that is what we're doing, and ISO is usually on 200-400.

Your color shift is toward the blue spectrum.  When I did a simple "white balance" click on the background in Photoshop, the whole image appears color balanced.

Normal FL lighting will have a green/yellow hue when photographed in daylight settings. 

You've also used a flash, which would give off no color shift when daylight settings are used, but will become blue under other lighting conditions.

I have a feeling that you're already using daylight balanced FL lights (usually sold by photo stores) because the whole image was easily balanced using just one click.  If they weren't balanced to the same color temperature as the flash, a different hue (on the face) would be evident when doing the white balance adjustment on the background.

IF you're shooting with a flash under mixed lighting conditions, such as a normal FL that emits a yellow/green hue, it's best to put a matching color filter over your flash.  That way the whole image will have the same hue and can easily be compensated by setting the camera to FL color balance, or fixing it post. 

FYI:
The color balance issue has nothing to do with the graininess that you were inquiring about in the original post.

Mar 27 13 04:26 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
SayCheeZ!
Posts: 17,754
Las Vegas, Nevada, US


existing photo as shown in original post:

http://i45.tinypic.com/330dwdj.jpg

Blue casr, note histogram showing the highlights are well below the 255 "White" level.  The blacks are pretty much above the 0 "black" level.

----------------------------------------------------------------



same photo after fixing white balance (background).

http://i47.tinypic.com/5p4d4z.jpg

Color seem consistent throughout the photo, no major color shifts.
Histogram shows whites and blacks are in the "gray" spectrum, just like the original image.

---------------------------------------------------------


photo color compensated and exposure adjusted:

http://i50.tinypic.com/33cvnfq.jpg

Same photo as above with exposure changed so that the highlights are now back in the 'white' range and the shadows are now in the 'black' range.

If you were going for the high key look (white background looking white) this is pretty close to how the exposure/histogram should look when coming directly from the camera. (I personally would even expose the whites even more). To do that you'll have to use the proper white balance, and obtain the proper exposure by following the steps I've previously outlined.

This is pretty much in the neighborhood of what I think most photographers would be trying to achieve.  Some minor adjustments can be made in camera or in post to make it even higher key (brighter whites), or a more flattened tone on the model (less highlights on her face/chest... more like the second image). and saturation levels can be changed to suit the image more.
Mar 27 13 04:55 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
KRISTEN MARIE
Posts: 484
Toronto, Ontario, Canada


SayCheeZ!  wrote:
existing photo as shown in original post:

http://i45.tinypic.com/330dwdj.jpg

Blue casr, note histogram showing the highlights are well below the 255 "White" level.  The blacks are pretty much above the 0 "black" level.

----------------------------------------------------------------



same photo after fixing white balance (background).

http://i47.tinypic.com/5p4d4z.jpg

Color seem consistent throughout the photo, no major color shifts.
Histogram shows whites and blacks are in the "gray" spectrum, just like the original image.

---------------------------------------------------------


photo color compensated and exposure adjusted:

http://i50.tinypic.com/33cvnfq.jpg

Same photo as above with exposure changed so that the highlights are now back in the 'white' range and the shadows are now in the 'black' range.

If you were going for the high key look (white background looking white) this is pretty close to how the exposure/histogram should look when coming directly from the camera. (I personally would even expose the whites even more). To do that you'll have to use the proper white balance, and obtain the proper exposure by following the steps I've previously outlined.

This is pretty much in the neighborhood of what I think most photographers would be trying to achieve.  Some minor adjustments can be made in camera or in post to make it even higher key (brighter whites), or a more flattened tone on the model (less highlights on her face/chest... more like the second image). and saturation levels can be changed to suit the image more.

Amazing advice. Thankyou SO SO much. This is what I needed smile

Mar 27 13 05:23 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
EBAnderson
Posts: 272
Springfield, Ohio, US


SayCheeZ!  wrote:
FYI:
The color balance issue has nothing to do with the graininess that you were inquiring about in the original post.

Two observations.

She was asking about grain when what was causing the concern was noise.

Noise problems often show up in the blue channel first because the blue channel generally has more signal amplification. 

Reduce the blue channel influence, you usually reduce the noise. Get the color balance right, the blue goes away and so does the noise.

In this particular case, the color balance issue has everything to do with the graininess.

Mar 27 13 06:40 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
KRISTEN MARIE
Posts: 484
Toronto, Ontario, Canada


EBAnderson wrote:

Two observations.

She was asking about grain when what was causing the concern was noise.

Noise problems often show up in the blue channel first because the blue channel generally has more signal amplification. 

Reduce the blue channel influence, you usually reduce the noise. Get the color balance right, the blue goes away and so does the noise.

In this particular case, the color balance issue has everything to do with the graininess.

Exactly. ^.^

Mar 27 13 06:44 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
SayCheeZ!
Posts: 17,754
Las Vegas, Nevada, US


EBAnderson wrote:
Noise problems often show up in the blue channel first because the blue channel generally has more signal amplification. 

Reduce the blue channel influence, you usually reduce the noise. Get the color balance right, the blue goes away and so does the noise.

In this particular case, the color balance issue has everything to do with the graininess.

Good point.
I stand corrected.

Mar 27 13 09:59 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Instinct Images
Posts: 22,467
San Diego, California, US


I suggest doing a custom white balance (page 115 of the User Manual):

Shoot as you normally do but just shoot the white background, no model. Take several exposures until you get the exposure correct so the background looks white not grey. It will probably have a color cast like the images you posted but that's okay. If you have a grey card you can shoot that instead of the background just make sure to position where the lighting hits it as it does your model.

Select [Custom White Balance].
Under the [Camera] tab, select [Custom White Balance], then press .

The custom white balance selection screen will appear.

Import the white balance data. Select the image that was captured in
step 1 (which should be the last image taken), then press .

On the dialog screen which appears select [OK] and the data will be imported.
When the menu reappears, press the  button to exit the menu.

Select the custom white balance.
Press the  button.
Select [Custom White Balance icon], then press

If you're always using the same basic setup then you should absolutely be shooting in manual mode. Once you figure out your correct exposure then set in Manual and leave it alone. It will only need to be changed if you change your lighting setup which of course means moving lights closer to the model or farther away.

If you're using the flash just to add a little bit of light then you might want to try dialing in some negative flash compensation (Page 102). Basically that will let you still use the flash but reduce the flash output so that most of the lighting comes from your lights instead of the flash. Play with different amounts to see what works or even try not using the built-in flash at all.
Mar 27 13 10:38 pm  Link  Quote 
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