Showing results for 
Show  only  | Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Help! Photographing objects is much harder than humans!


I am a reborn doll artist, I create likelike reborn art dolls. This is my career and I make a pretty good salary doing it. 5 years in and I am still struggling to take the best photos of my work. Pictures are what sells my work so I need the sharpest most natural photos. The coloring needs to be true to what my eyes see in person. I am shooting with a Canon rebel T5. I have a 18-55mm lens and a 75-300mm. I need help finding the right settings. Flash creates shine that is not ideal for what I am photographing. In colder months when the natural light isn't great I find that I am struggling. These 2 photos were taken at the same time of day, same location. top photo in manual with the setting the same as the below photo(snowman)1/125 shutter--- F4.5--- ISO set to Auto---No flash. The bottom photo was taken in Portrait mode, flash came up automatically, I enjoy this photo more, I find it truer in color to real life with out being overly bright. My issue with shooting in Portrait mode is that you cannot choose when the flash is used or not as it doesn't let you choose. Does anyone know what the setting are in "portrait mode"? 

M.jpgThis picture was taken in natural light outside around 3pm. I was in manual mode 1/125 shutter--- F4.5--- ISO set to Auto---No flash. I like how this one turned out but I cannot always get the same quality. 




The first thing I see is that color balance could be way better.  Current images look quite cold (blue).


Did you capture your images in RAW?  If so, the color temperature can be adjusted later (e.g. in Adobe Lightroom).


Flash can be very useful.  When I first started with my Rebel T4i, I picked up Canon's 400-series speedlight.  Then got a cable so that I could use it off-camera.  There are numerous modifiers you could purchase, or even DIY, to soften the light.


EOS 5D IV, EF 50mm f/1.2L, EF 135mm f/2L, 600EX-RT (x6), ST-E3-RT
EOS C70, RF 24-70 f/2.8L IS, EF-EOS R 0.71x


The Portrait position on the mode dial is programmed to have the camera go for a larger aperture (smaller f/number) to minimize depth of field. As you found, these icon modes also set other features that you may or may not want. You can do the same yourself by shooting in Av mode.


There is also a Portrait Picture Style that only matters if you are shootingh JPEG or use the Canon DPP software and shoot RAW.  The Portrait Picture Style slects a little less sharpness and adjusts color towards pinkish.


Screenshot 2021-01-01 084839.jpg


As you found, when you are shooting on a clear day with snow on the ground you will find a bluish cast since the blue sky is reflecting of the snow. You will also find that the images will tend towards being underexposed since there is so much of the image brtighter than midtones.


Your subject is static - no reason not to be using a tripod.


Give the image about one stop positive exposure compensation.


Also recommend that you shoot RAW so you can better adjust white balance. What software do you use?


John Hoffman
Conway, NH

1D X Mark III, Many lenses, Pixma PRO-100, Pixma TR8620a, LR Classic


First off, beautiful work.


Second you are an artist at what you do. The best solution is to hire a professional photographer that is the best at what he/she does. Barring that the next best solution is to always shoot in Raw file format. Never, never, again never use jpg.  Because you need to post edit your photos. This mandatory and not a choice. You need a good post editor and all the best pros use the Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom.  You should, too!

This is your photo with two simple clicks in PS. One is levels and the second is set gray point.  Nothing else and look how much better it is.




You never use any of the auto mode like portrait.  Always be in one of the creative mode like Av, which is what I would suggest to use. While on never use, never use the 75-300mm for this type work. I also would never use a flash.  You need to apply all the light needed either by natural light (preferred) or other constant on light source.

Feel free to come back with any questions you might have.

EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!
01/18/2023: New firmware version 1.1.1 is available for EOS R6 Mark II
01/09/2023: Help ensure your autofocus is properly aligned with a Canon Precision Alignment
01/03/2023: Welcome to CES 2023!
12/08/2022: New firmware version is available for EOS C70
12/07/2022: New firmware version 1.7.0 is available for EOS R5
12/07/2022: New firmware version 1.7.0 is available for EOS R6
11/22/2022: New firmware available for EOS R3, EOS R7 and EOS R10
11/16/2022: We're thrilled to be ranked among the Best Employers for Veterans in 2022 by Forbes.
08/31/2022: New firmware version 1.1.1 is available for RF 70-200mm L IS USM
08/09/2022: New firmware version 1.2.0 is available for CR-N 300
08/09/2022: New firmware version 1.2.0 is available for CR-N 500
07/14/2022: New firmware version 1.0.1 is available for CR-X300
06/10/2022: Service Notice:UPDATE: Canon Inkjet Printer continuous reboot loop or powering down
06/07/2022: New firmware version 1.3.2 is available for PowerShot G7 X Mark III
05/31/2022: Did someone SAY Badges?
05/26/2022: New firmware version is available for EOS-C500 Mark II
05/26/2022: New firmware version is available for EOS-C300 Mark III
05/10/2022: Keep your Canon gear in optimal condition with a Canon Maintenance Service
05/05/2022: We are excited to announce that we have refreshed the ranking scale within the community!
04/26/2022: New firmware version is available for EOS R5 C
03/23/2022: New firmware version is available for EOS-C70
02/09/2022: Share Your Photos is back!
02/07/2022: New firmware version 1.6.1 is available for EOS-1DX Mark III
01/13/2022: Community Update. We will be retiring the legacy profile avatars on 01/20/2022. Click this link to read more.