Posted by: lle2010 | March 28, 2010

Week 13

This week’s photo was a learning experience for me.  Well, each week has been, but this one more so than the others.  I was photographing items for Deb’s Avon Walk for Breast Cancer,, and I became intrigued with the Mickey Mouse figurine.

After photographing the items, I then started working with just the figurine.  What I was finding is that I wasn’t getting the entire figurine in focus and  I was getting harsh shadows with the flash.  I wanted the entire figurine in focus and even lighting.  This is where my lesson began.

 I started working with my 18-200mm lens and none of the photos were as sharp as I would like.  I then went to my 50mm lens.  I started getting better results, but still not entirely in focus.  That is when I realized I needed to adjust my f stop.  Once I closed the aperture by one stop, I was getting the entire subject in focus.  Next I worked on the flash. 

I used direct light, bounced light, diffused light until I finally came up with what I wanted.  I still needed to do a little post processing to brighten the object, but I accomplished what I wanted.  I realize that there are many ways I could have obtained the same or better results if I had different gear.    I know that if  I had a flash sync cord, I could have taken the flash off the camera and achieved a different result.  Better yet, if I had two flashes I could have slaved one and had better lighting results.  If I had a table top light box, it would have been easier lighting the subject.  But sometimes you have to learn to work with what you have.  

This was the result.

Canon EOS 40D  50mm  f5.6  1/60  ISO 100  Canon Speedlite 420EX w/diffuser



  1. I’m working with what I have as well (point&shoot), so I really appreciate this post.

    I was excited yesterday to get good results in very low light, with a moving subject (guinea pig) by taping lens cleaning paper over my flash and using it that way. I’ve been experimenting a lot more lately and having more fun too!

    • Oh, I’m so glad you found it helpful. We all can learn something just by doing and communicating. Keep shooting!

  2. Another way to get more light is to not use the flash and set up a tripod.

    Use normal lights you find around the house. A desk lamp with a directional top is best. Use two of them or use a white flat surface like poster board to reflect more light on to the subject.

    Use your camera’s timer or remote shutter release. With a tripod and a static subject like this, shutter time is not a big deal. Have fun!

    I wrote up a Picture This! blog entry on doing this a couple of years ago:

    • Thanks, Scott. I will use your suggestions on the next shoot. I am sure Deb will have more collectables going up for auction. I read the blog you posted and it will be helpful.

  3. Hi Linda,

    We are split on this one. Both of us are not too jazzed up about this picture. However, I seemed more appreciative of your artistic struggle than she did!

    I also like eating your food and drinking your beer so I am always on your side!

    Not our favorite, but still love the project!

    Keep on clicking!

    Tom and Wanda

    • Hi Tom & Wanda,

      That’s ok if you aren’t really excited by the photo. I don’t exepect every photo to be a home run. This week was really more of a learning experience for me. That is one of the reasons I am doing the blog. If I use my camera often, then hopefully no matter the situation, I will know what I need to do to get the best shot. I want to improve my skills so that it becomes second nature.

      Even though I ply you with food and drink, it is ok not to like something…lol.

  4. Thanks, Fay. Mickey is pretty well loved in this house too!

  5. Great shot-love Mickey !!

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