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Why are my photos not coming out 100% clear? Mark ll EOS 6D

ivesandhoney
Contributor

45FC5FC4-9F95-4841-9FFB-F1A11625F352.jpeg

I am a new photographer, I just purchased a Mark ll 6D and an using an 85 mm lens. I have been trying to learn manual mode, and I just am struggling. I get the concepts of what to adjust, but when I practiced tonight, my pictures are just slightly blurry almost. And it’s not noticeable until you zoom way in, but I am a perfectionist, and I want to get it right, not just “half right”. I had watched videos on how to do manual mode, and people would say to keep your ISO low or your photos will get grainy.... I did just that, but when I went to edit it in Lightroom and bump up the exposure, it was very grainy. So I tried instead to do a higher ISO, which I think turned out better, but I still feel like my photo is not exactly crystal clear and I want it to be crystal clear. My aperture was set at f/4 I believe, Shutter speed at 1000 I believe, and iso maybe around 1000 also. This was while the sun was pretty much set, so could this time of night just cause less crisp? Should I bump my aperture up for a higher depth of field? Is it possible my autofocus just isn’t capturing the right spot? Please help 😅

2 ACCEPTED SOLUTIONS

Tronhard
Elite

Thanks for posting this as a new thread, that helps us to help you.

Given you are new at this, the first thing to do is avoid manual mode for the time being. I would suggest using Av mode - which is aperture priority mode, and to set the ISO value to auto. (You can actually set a maximum ISO value for this in the menu system, and I would recommend no more than 3200).  This means that the camera will control for you, two out of the three variables that you need to set.  Since the aperture has a major impact on Depth of Field (DoF): how much of your image is in focus, this is how you isolate objects so that they are seen as the subject. The simple rule for relating the aperture value to Depth of Filed is that the smaller the f/value, the less DoF you have, but the more light is let in, so the camera can set a faster shutter speed, for example.

The next thing to realize is that autofocus has many options.  The default autofocus will lock onto the nearest significant object and that may not be the one you want to actually have in focus.  The standard method for doing this is to isolate the subject (you might zoom in to make it large in the display), and then HALF-PRESS the shutter button to lock focus.  While continuing to half-press the shutter, recompose the subject within the image and fully press the shutter button.  Don't press hard - the force of doing so will likely move the camera.

A lot of people, myself included, actually set the camera up for something called Back Button Focusing (BBF).   You can find numerous videos for this on You Tube, but I recommend looking at Canon DSLR-specific ones to make sure the menus match.  What this essentially does is allow you to find your subject, focus on it, and lock that setting by tapping a button on the rear, usually marked AF-ON.  You can also lock exposure using the * button, and that allows you to control how light or dark the image will be.  You can combine this with setting the focus system to select one focus point in the centre and the BBF will lock that for you.  The benefit is that for a photo such as your example, you can focus on the baby's eye (which is the critical point), lock focus on that and recompose your image before taking the shot.  This is used a lot by both portrait and wildlife photographers.

If you are keen to learn I would suggest looking at your local library on-line catalogue for an item called LinkedIn Learning.  This is a site full of high-quality videos from professionals that will take you through all aspects of photography from the basics to very advanced subjects.  The lessons are well set up and easy to follow.  If you find the item in the library catalogue, that means you free access to an otherwise pay site.  You open the link to gain access to the logon page and use your library credentials to access the site.  Once there, just search for Photography to see a list of topics (it's massive).  I recommend starting with Photography Fundamentals with Ben Long.  Even if you don't have free access via your library, you can get a month free by going directly to the site, whichg is: https://www.linkedin.com/learning-login

 


cheers, TREVOR

Before you ask us, have you looked in the manual or on the Canon Support Site?
"All the beauty of life is made up of light and shadow", Leo Tolstoy;
"Skill in photography is acquired by practice and not by purchase" Percy W. Harris
"

View solution in original post

jaewoosong
Enthusiast

The exif for this image shows 42mm, F8, 1/160sec ISO 2000 EXP 0.  Did you shoot this as JPG or RAW?  For many new photographers, the common impression is that the JPG looks bit better/sharper than the RAW image as the camera applies some image processing for JPGS, whereas RAW is completely unprocessed.  For RAW images, one will need to apply various processing like sharpening, color, tone curve, noise reduction.  I can't tell where exactly was your focus points but by looking at the blanket, the infant's face is largely in focus.

Unfortunately, any images uploaded directly to canon forum posts like this gets recompressed to a smaller size so it's hard to see what the original image may have looked like but the image looks fine to me.

Rather than shooting in manual mode, first learn in an easier mode like aperture priority (Av) mode where you select the F stop and the ISO and shutter speed is auto adjusted.  Once you understand the relationship between ISO, aperture, shutter speed for the photographic style you are striving for, then go full manual.  One thing you would want to avoid is to over or underexpose an image by too much.  Having to correct in post can make it more difficult.

View solution in original post

13 REPLIES 13

Tronhard
Elite

Thanks for posting this as a new thread, that helps us to help you.

Given you are new at this, the first thing to do is avoid manual mode for the time being. I would suggest using Av mode - which is aperture priority mode, and to set the ISO value to auto. (You can actually set a maximum ISO value for this in the menu system, and I would recommend no more than 3200).  This means that the camera will control for you, two out of the three variables that you need to set.  Since the aperture has a major impact on Depth of Field (DoF): how much of your image is in focus, this is how you isolate objects so that they are seen as the subject. The simple rule for relating the aperture value to Depth of Filed is that the smaller the f/value, the less DoF you have, but the more light is let in, so the camera can set a faster shutter speed, for example.

The next thing to realize is that autofocus has many options.  The default autofocus will lock onto the nearest significant object and that may not be the one you want to actually have in focus.  The standard method for doing this is to isolate the subject (you might zoom in to make it large in the display), and then HALF-PRESS the shutter button to lock focus.  While continuing to half-press the shutter, recompose the subject within the image and fully press the shutter button.  Don't press hard - the force of doing so will likely move the camera.

A lot of people, myself included, actually set the camera up for something called Back Button Focusing (BBF).   You can find numerous videos for this on You Tube, but I recommend looking at Canon DSLR-specific ones to make sure the menus match.  What this essentially does is allow you to find your subject, focus on it, and lock that setting by tapping a button on the rear, usually marked AF-ON.  You can also lock exposure using the * button, and that allows you to control how light or dark the image will be.  You can combine this with setting the focus system to select one focus point in the centre and the BBF will lock that for you.  The benefit is that for a photo such as your example, you can focus on the baby's eye (which is the critical point), lock focus on that and recompose your image before taking the shot.  This is used a lot by both portrait and wildlife photographers.

If you are keen to learn I would suggest looking at your local library on-line catalogue for an item called LinkedIn Learning.  This is a site full of high-quality videos from professionals that will take you through all aspects of photography from the basics to very advanced subjects.  The lessons are well set up and easy to follow.  If you find the item in the library catalogue, that means you free access to an otherwise pay site.  You open the link to gain access to the logon page and use your library credentials to access the site.  Once there, just search for Photography to see a list of topics (it's massive).  I recommend starting with Photography Fundamentals with Ben Long.  Even if you don't have free access via your library, you can get a month free by going directly to the site, whichg is: https://www.linkedin.com/learning-login

 


cheers, TREVOR

Before you ask us, have you looked in the manual or on the Canon Support Site?
"All the beauty of life is made up of light and shadow", Leo Tolstoy;
"Skill in photography is acquired by practice and not by purchase" Percy W. Harris
"

Thank you for the help, I will definitely have to read this over and over the next few days and hopefully take something new away each time 🙂 

jaewoosong
Enthusiast

The exif for this image shows 42mm, F8, 1/160sec ISO 2000 EXP 0.  Did you shoot this as JPG or RAW?  For many new photographers, the common impression is that the JPG looks bit better/sharper than the RAW image as the camera applies some image processing for JPGS, whereas RAW is completely unprocessed.  For RAW images, one will need to apply various processing like sharpening, color, tone curve, noise reduction.  I can't tell where exactly was your focus points but by looking at the blanket, the infant's face is largely in focus.

Unfortunately, any images uploaded directly to canon forum posts like this gets recompressed to a smaller size so it's hard to see what the original image may have looked like but the image looks fine to me.

Rather than shooting in manual mode, first learn in an easier mode like aperture priority (Av) mode where you select the F stop and the ISO and shutter speed is auto adjusted.  Once you understand the relationship between ISO, aperture, shutter speed for the photographic style you are striving for, then go full manual.  One thing you would want to avoid is to over or underexpose an image by too much.  Having to correct in post can make it more difficult.

It was a Raw, but that actually makes me think - I used the canon app to transfer the photo from my camera to my phone, and I did see that said it would come as a jpeg. Could that be why it looks slightly blurry? And if I upload straight to a computer, it may fix that? I appreciate the help! Thank you.

Nope, the fact that it is blurry has nothing to do with whether it is JPG or RAW, or how you uploaded it. 

Blurry images are the result of two things:
Movement: Either the subject of the camera moved, and this is controlled by the shutter speed you select. The general rule of thumb is to use a shutter speed that is the inverse of your focal length: e.g. a 50mm lens would need a minimum of 1/50 sec, 200mm - 1/200sec.  It is safer to go for about 1/ 1.5xFocal length - so a 50mm lens would need 1/75sec.

Focus: Either the camera is not focused on the subject (as I explained in my previous post, or the subject is not within the DoF).  The focusing system will handle the first of these, and the aperture the latter.


cheers, TREVOR

Before you ask us, have you looked in the manual or on the Canon Support Site?
"All the beauty of life is made up of light and shadow", Leo Tolstoy;
"Skill in photography is acquired by practice and not by purchase" Percy W. Harris
"

Sounds like I have some practice to do then 🙂 I’ll have to give what you suggested a go and hopefully it will turn out better for me.

Learning to use a dedicated camera is a major step up from using a cell phone, for example.  It requires you to develop some knowledge of light, optics and the three major elements that control exposure:  ISO, Aperture and Shutter Speed.  There are many combinations of these that will give you the right exposure, but how you change each of these will have a significant impact on the resultant image.


cheers, TREVOR

Before you ask us, have you looked in the manual or on the Canon Support Site?
"All the beauty of life is made up of light and shadow", Leo Tolstoy;
"Skill in photography is acquired by practice and not by purchase" Percy W. Harris
"

Also so cool you could see my settings- I honestly couldn’t remember and just had to make a guesstimate. Based on those settings, would you suggest I adjust any at all, or do those seem correct for the time of day I took it? Also this was an unedited picture I shared, so I did edit it separately to add in exposure, white balance, etc. This was it edited. I am glad to hear you think it looks fine. I think I will try to upload it on my computer and see if that transfers it as a raw instead of JPEG.

E711CFCD-77CC-4399-AE4F-6B48F045DADF.jpeg

I agree that this image seems OK, so you can rest easy on that - it did not come up well on my screen.  However, as I have laboured to try to help you, can you please consider the information I have given you about learning the camera controls and settings, it will make your life a lot easier.


cheers, TREVOR

Before you ask us, have you looked in the manual or on the Canon Support Site?
"All the beauty of life is made up of light and shadow", Leo Tolstoy;
"Skill in photography is acquired by practice and not by purchase" Percy W. Harris
"
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