Hello and Happy Monday internet friends! A few questions as of late…
H asks…I was wondering how you get such crisp images. While I realize a big part is correct camera settings, I was wondering if you do an sort of sharpening on your subjects.
The best chance of getting a tack sharp image is to use a tripod. But, the truth is…I use a tripod 1 in every 452,352,446 times I pick up my camera. It’s just not me…I have to be moving around everywhere. So, yes, you are correct…your camera settings do play a part. A lower ISO and carefully chosen shutter speed will definitely help with getting a sharp image. As a general rule, try to keep your shutter speed above 1/125 and if you are photographing a moving child, 1/250 or higher is a good rule of thumb to minimize blur from hand shake. You can absolutely achieve a sharp image with any lens, but it is true that nice “glass” makes a world of difference in the clarity and sharpness of an image. As far as sharpening while post processing, I do use a general Kubota sharpening on most images after the image is processed. Oh…and don’t forget to sharpen for the web! This makes a huge difference in how crisp an image looks when it is on the web. I use Kubota’s web sharpen action for this one.
L asks…Do you use actions and what are your favorites?
I do use actions…a combination of my own as well as others. I am a huge fan of Kubota, Totally Rad, My Four Hens, MCP Actions, Brenda Acuncius actions, and Lilyblue (most of which are fabulous sponsors for our workshops, by the way)!
E asks…Do you ever find yourself using higher ISO’s in low light rather than setting up flashes? Do you get a lot of noise at your higher ISO’s?
Yes, I absolutely raise my ISO if needed. Deciding whether to use natural light with a higher ISO or flash depends on the situation and the “look” I want to create. I am a big advocate of creating my own light using flash if needs be, but there are times such as weddings or the following image in which I need the image to be lit naturally and a higher ISO is required. If I had kept a low ISO in this image, my subjects would have been black silhouettes, with very little detail. My two cameras (Nikon D700 and Nikon D3s) do allow me to shoot at a high ISO with very little noise.
M asks…Do you shoot RAW or JPG?
A couple of years ago, my answer would have been half and half…weddings RAW, portraits JPG. But, in the past year, I switched to 100% RAW. Love it!
T asks…I am somewhat new to photography and am obsessed with it, but I am already feeling the need to quit before I even start. I have two children and can’t even think of keeping up with shooting, editing, emailing, ordering, and everything else! I know you have four children, how do you do it???
Ahhhh, the never ending quest for balance. I think many people DO quit because there is a lot of pressure as a working parent from home to try to find that balance between work and family. For me, it was all about deciding exactly how many hours and what days in the week I wanted to work and and STICKING WITH IT. I learned to say no. Seriously…simple, but it saved my sanity. Another saver? I outsource…a lot. It’s all about keeping what you love and getting rid of the rest.
And…a few more images from my recent shoot with the little one from above…