Venus Trapped in Mars

01 October 2013

What I'm Trying to Do Vs. What is Happening

Why can't I figure out this mother lovin DSLR camera? I've got the camera in manual, I'm reading the light meter, I'm adjusting the ISO, I'm adjusting the F Stop correctly. My pictures are still looking just like the iPhone! Or in some cases, worse because I can't get enough light for the DSLR, yet in the same shooting scenario, I get plenty of light with the iPhone. 

Fun fact about me: I'm an obsessor. I wouldn't call it a perfectionist because I have zero attention to detail. I think people throw around the term OCD and/or perfectionist far too lightly. 

I obsess. I obsess over things until I figure the problem out. I once sat for four and a half hours fidgeting with broken cords and cables trying to connect a television to a computer. I couldn't move. I couldn't stop. I was obsessed with solving the riddle of why it wasn't working. 

My point here is that I don't half ass things. I'm really trying to figure out this camera. Why do I suck at this? Some people have said it is because of the "kit" lens. Why would I pay SO MUCH for a camera that gave me a crappy lens? Is this all the lens' fault and not my own?

I really hope I'm not offending any professional photographers. I realize I'll never be able to do what the pros do. I'm not trying to be a professional, and I certainly don't believe that simply buying a DSLR makes you a professional photographer. I just want to take my own pictures that are pretty, and feel proud to post them on my blog and design site. 

Here is a little more information on what I'm going for...

For my Social&Chic design site I want a really cool image for the front screen. Currently it is a crappy picture from my work trip back in July. Here are some simple photo concepts I found on Pinterest that I'd like to use on my website.













These are all simple items, I should be able to recreate this. Also, I have tons of light in my apartment, I wouldn't think they have more light coming in than I do. I even started taking pictures with the light meter way to the right just to get that brighter, whiter effect all those above pictures have. That seemed to help a little bit, but then everything went out of focus.

So here are my attempts...












What do I need to do differently.... and go!
Thank you in advance -- xo, management.

On another note, I figured out how to automatically decrease the space blogger adds between my images. Holler!   

49 comments :

  1. these people probably have lighting kits with umbrellas and softboxes and all that fancy lighting stuff.

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  2. "I figured out how to automatically decrease the space blogger adds between my images. " How're you gonna just throw that out there and not tell us how? haha

    But no, seriously. How?

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  3. That's crazy how even after you put it on Manual, it still doesn't work how you want it. All my pics are taken with an iPhone right now and I want to get a DSLR but allll those buttons scare me... But congrats on figuring out that spacing problem! Maybe a topic for your Saturday Sessions??.

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  4. Yeah, I know nothing sorry. But I do know that you can find classes on it! In Chicago, colleges offer classes just on beginner photography and there's also a site called Dabble that has classes for tons of different things, including DSLR. Maybe there's something similar near you?

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  5. I have no idea who to you a DSLR but I love the picture with General in it!

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  6. I have no idea about cameras but I say you the one with the pup or the first one..I love them!

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  7. I would say, if you are having tons of problems in manual, switch to either TV or AV mode. It's still manual but you aren't changing EVERYTHING for the photos. And the Pinterest pictures are probably very edited. And the "kit" lens really does suck. Use it for a while, but you will notice a HUGE difference when you switch to another lens.

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  8. What lens are you using? Try playing with depth of field more, it will help your pictures look more like the ones above. Also, most of those pictures have filters and lots of editing done to them - I promise they don't look like that straight out of the camera! I love your first two attempts, I think they look very similar to the ones above!

    And yes, please share how to take away that annoying space between pictures!

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  9. What lens are you using? A 50mm lens will allow more light and help with the lighting issue indoors.

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  10. honestly i really really like what you did!! i just wish my life looked so perfect like pinterest.

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  11. Yes I am the exact same way! I like the first picture you created. I think it looks great!

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  12. I know nothing about any of this but I would say don't worry so much about the brightness in the picture and just figure out how to do it on photoshop or an iPad app

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  13. Alright, I bought my DSLR and took a photography class and I'm still a little confused but here are my best tips:

    1. It's the lens. You know the blurry background photos that so many bloggers have? You can't do that with a kit lens. I bought a 50mm 1.4 lens for less than $200 and now I can selectively blur my photos. It has changed everything.

    2. This is what my photography teacher told me. Put it in "A" mode - aperture priority mode. The lower the number (i.e. on my 1.8 lens it is 1.8) the more of the photo will be blurry. The higher the number, the more then entire photo will be in focus. I almost always take outfit pictures on Aperture of 2 to get the blurry background effect.

    3. Never let the shutter speed be below 1/200. No one has hands that steady so unless you have a tripod, just don't.

    4. Indoor lighting is the hardest. My indoor pictures still look like doo doo and my outdoor pictures look much better. If you are going to take indoor photos, make sure that you are in a place with a TON of natural light. For the photos above, I agree with Kelly Louise, they probably have fancy umbrellas and lighting and stuff.

    5. Never use flash.

    I pretty much just wrote a blog post so perhaps I'll copy and paste this comment and make it a blog post.

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    Replies
    1. Haha, I was reading this like more tips, more tips!! :) Great comment!

      And Sarah - I'm in the same boat. My hella expensive camera has been tougher to figure out than I thought. Sometimes it's amazing, other times I'm better with my phone.

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    2. no... but really, make a blog post.

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  14. i think a lot of people use the light reflector disks, which i think you can find for under 20 dollars on amazon. even when the lighting in my apartment is decent, I still get dark photos.

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  15. I'm no professional, but the first and last pictures look seriously legit. I'm voting for those two.

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  16. Have you tried taking one of the ALT classes like DSLR 101? That really helped me!

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  17. a.) please tell me how to get rid of the spaces in between my photos in blogger too, grr. b.) i just got my dslr in august and am now taking a class at the local community college. so i'm a suuuuuper newbie. i think the photos that you took look great! maybe try getting a tripod and having a slower shutter speed so that'll allow even more light in. also a lower aperture will give you that background out of focus look (i think...?) maybe set up your photos in front of a white background to help make it brighter too and also eliminate background junk... photography is way harder than i thought it would be too and my mind is consistently boggled in my class. you seem off to a great start though!
    -- jackie @ jade and oak

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  18. A few suggestions that might help -- like a few people above said, it's hard to get good blurred backgrounds with a kit lens, but make sure to set your aperture as low as it will go with your kit lens to get a step in the right direction. Also, if you really do have tons of natural light in your place, turn off the actual lights in your space and shoot entirely with natural light -- that way your light meter won't have combatting types of light to try to work with. Also, some of the detail the photos you're using for inspiration was brought out by editing the photos -- most photos don't come out just right the second you take them, even with a DSLR! Do you have editing software you can use (like Photoshop) -- this makes a HUGE difference! Hope these little tweaks help you!

    xo, Liz
    {What Dress Code?}

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  19. Pinterest has ruined so many things, they set the bar too high for all things wedding, design, photography, fashion and everything in between. I think your pictures look pretty good!

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  20. I love your pics!! I think Pinterest has a way of making people feel like they suck at everything.

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  21. Yeah the kit lens are okay, but they are not definitely of the best quality (I have two that came with my first DSLR). I upgraded my DSLR and bought a 50mm. The difference in the lens and the quality of the photos is phenomenal.

    Also, a lot of pictures are slightly edited with photoshop and even have been edited by running actions.

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  22. Okay, so I totally rig everything I do photography wise. So, if you want to bounce light take a piece of white [all white] paper/note card and hold it out 8 inches [or so] <-- look at me getting fancy & shit, and take the picture. See what happens. If you fail, my bad.

    Xo Fal
    Falfindshappiness.blogspot.com

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  23. I am a total novice but I would recommend shooting in Av mode with a 50mm lens (it will run you about $100). I would also buy a book that helps you explain why things do what they do. I have a Canon Rebel t4i and I just bought a book that has helped a ton with explaining how to use all the awesome features. I highly suggest the 50mm lens I almost never use my kit lens.

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  24. I play around with my mom's DSLR sometimes, but don't really know how to use it. Neither does she. I always think the same thing though, how do they get those images to look so pretty? Speaking of space between images, can you tell me how to reduce the space between images on the side bar?! Thank you!

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  25. unrelated because I am a terrible photographer and don't own a dslr...I want those desks...grr

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  26. I struggle with this too! We have a separate lens that does a great blurry background that I do really love. Christmas list?!

    I do think the first 2 look pretty stinkin good though!

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  27. Beats me, ha ha. I wouldn't know what to do with a DSLR if it smacked me upside the head. Good luck though (:

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  28. Ahh finally something I can be of help with! Okay, first off I recommend shooting in Av - it lets you choose your f/stop (aperture) but it chooses the shutter speed for you which helps a lot so you're always over compensating. Second, shoot in RAW. (so for image size, click L + RAW). The files are pretty big but when you open them on your laptop, you can use Adobe Photoshop to edit it and helps with lighting etc. so say you love a photo and it's a little dark, you can add more light in via Raw rather than fake lighting in photoshop. ALSO, if you think your photos are a little dark, put the exposure up a notch, so i usually do it so that it's one notch to the right of 0 if i want it brighter, and one notch to the left if i want it darker. Feel free to email me if you need any help. I have my DSLR for almost 5 years now and I'm pretty comfortable with the ins and outs of it.

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  29. Try a light bouncing object. You can totally DIY it, like buying a poster board or getting a piece of cardboard and cover it with aluminum foil. Try setting your photo in front of a window & and put the light boucing object on the opposite side of the window to help the natural light hit both sides of the objects and see if that helps brighten them up a bit. Also, as everyone said, lower aperture will help with the blur.
    I'm not prefessional but I am extremely passionate about photography and I'm also still figuring my DSLR out, but these are things I've read.
    Also, I'd love to have another lens beside by kit lenses, but sometimes you just can't afford it, so I believe we just have to learn how to take the best pictures we can with that we have for now. :)
    I'm always reading tips and such on Pinterest!
    Good Luck!

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  30. Well personally I couldn't get past the Cooks Grand Reserve in the last picture to even notice the photo quality!! ;) Reserve...cooks??? I must research this! haha

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  31. We have the Nikon DSLR. But my husband bought another huuuuge lense to go with it. I put that baby on AUTO and click away. Sorry I am not of any help to you! BUT- I like the first one with your pup in the background.. that picture looks pretty good to me!

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  32. I think your photos came out great! And I get OCD about things like that, too- hair mostly!

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  33. i think the key is your background needs to be white - build a cardboard light box? easy tutorials online or you need a sheet or something. i find that my backgrounds often are off-putting for my image. i also use a 50mm lens for my canon (the cheapest one) and it achieves the blurred background. setting - either P or Av
    kw, ladies in navy

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  34. I have been considering getting my first DSLR camera but seeing the trouble you are having with it scares me a bit lol! I still love your pictures tho! x

    Rowdy Fairy Blog
    Follow Me on Bloglovin!

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  35. I don't know how to use mine in manual either....but where is that planner from? I neeeeed it! Thanks:)

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  36. I am no picture taking expert, I am all about the iphone and snap chat but I think those all look great!! I would hire you to do professional photos!!

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  37. i love these room shots! so much white, i can't help but love it. also, i think just playing around with cameras and using them over time helps you become more used to them. i still don't know the technical side of what i'm doing!

    lindsey louise

    hellomrrabbitblog.com

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  38. But I LOVE your first two shots! A lot of photographers shoot in Av from what I understand, not full manual. Maybe give that a try. You shouldn't have to stress so much about the light, let the camera do the work.

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  39. uhm. this post was written by me, because that's honestly how i feel about life and why pictures have been seriously lacking on my blog. nothing meets the expectations pinterest has oh so conveniently instilled in me.

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  40. I think your pics are great-- just a few filters and editing with photoshop should get you close to the colors you want. No way are those sample pics straight out of the camera! I hate hate hate shooting in indoor lighting. Even if there's a lot of light coming through a window, I feel like it's never enough.

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  41. Totally the lens! Check out pixel-peeper.com, it's an awesome website that shows the difference between lenses (you can even choose the camera model and everything.)

    Also a lot of those photos are probably taken with an external flash!

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  42. Please share how to adjust spacing between pictures!!!!

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  43. Your photos are still great! I know different lenses can help get the more 'dreamy' effect but it looks like you're getting there anyway! xx
    www.LaurasHaven.com

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  44. I don't know much at all about photography but I know I want that desk and the gold lamp! :-)

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  45. I know NOTHING about photography so I think the photos look good! I wish I had the time, energy, patience, and money to figure out a DSLR.

    -AJ
    FitTravelerAJ.com

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  46. I don't have a DSLR but I've pretty much claimed the one my parents have. I suck at photography but I love it anyway. I really like the 2nd "dark" picture.

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  47. I actually really like the one with the General in the background! (I think that's his name - sorry if I messed up!) It's a neat angle.

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