Photographing steels

williamhamson

Premium Supporter
Sep 5, 2015
216
West Sussex, England, UK
Hi all!
I'm a total newbie with photography (other than the auto setting!). I'm sure most will say it's overkill but I'm enjoying taking shots of my steels with my Canon 80D but really struggling to get the whole steel in focus at once... in particular small text! What do I need to do?? Anyone able to help with this and dumb it down for me? Haha. It could be as simple as the wrong lens for what I'm trying to do but would welcome some feedback. Cheers!
 
May 15, 2018
132
It's actually the other way round, the higher the f-number the more your subject is in focus, i.e. at f/3.5 you'll have more blurry areas in your image as opposed to f/22. To adjust that you'll want to put your camera into aperture-priority (A / Av on the dial) or manual (M) mode, but I'd suggest aperture-priority to start with if you're not familiar with the relationship between aperture / shutter speed / ISO (the exposure triangle). There's generally an optimum range somewhere in the middle where the image is sharpest, so you don't necessarily want to use the highest f-number. Also, the higher the f-number, the smaller the aperture and the less light the lens lets in, so you'll want to make sure the subject is adequately lit, or use something to support the camera such as a tripod so you can work with lower shutter speeds.

You also have to consider the focal plane which is perpendicular to your lens - the more you can get your subject onto the focal plane the sharper it will be, so if you shoot the steelbook straight on it will be easier to get it entirely in focus as opposed to shooting it at an angle.

That should be a good starting point, let us know how you get on! :)
 

williamhamson

Premium Supporter
Sep 5, 2015
216
West Sussex, England, UK
It's actually the other way round, the higher the f-number the more your subject is in focus, i.e. at f/3.5 you'll have more blurry areas in your image as opposed to f/22. To adjust that you'll want to put your camera into aperture-priority (A / Av on the dial) or manual (M) mode, but I'd suggest aperture-priority to start with if you're not familiar with the relationship between aperture / shutter speed / ISO (the exposure triangle). There's generally an optimum range somewhere in the middle where the image is sharpest, so you don't necessarily want to use the highest f-number. Also, the higher the f-number, the smaller the aperture and the less light the lens lets in, so you'll want to make sure the subject is adequately lit, or use something to support the camera such as a tripod so you can work with lower shutter speeds.

You also have to consider the focal plane which is perpendicular to your lens - the more you can get your subject onto the focal plane the sharper it will be, so if you shoot the steelbook straight on it will be easier to get it entirely in focus as opposed to shooting it at an angle.

That should be a good starting point, let us know how you get on! :)
Hugely helpful! Thank you @spriggan02 ! I will have a go with that as soon as I can. I do love the angle shots so I might have to sacrifice that until I get myself more familiar then! Darn. Haha.

Greatly appreciate the help though
 
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May 15, 2018
132
Hugely helpful! Thank you @spriggan02 ! I will have a go with that as soon as I can. I do love the angle shots so I might have to sacrifice that until I get myself more familiar then! Darn. Haha.

Greatly appreciate the help though
Angle shots usually look better as when shooting straight on the image would appear rather flat, but if your objective is to get the whole steelbook in focus you'll want to restrict the angle. Increasing the f-number helps but there's a limit to that, and if you're shooting in low-light conditions I'd highly recommend using a tripod which also allows you to manually focus to improve the accuracy. But play with various composition anyway, you'll probably find some photos look better even if the subject doesn't wholly come into focus :)
 

Savage Clown

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