NHM Photo Evaluation

Following my DSLR workshop, a few people and I from the club went to practice at the National History Museum. This location offers a variety lighting obstacles, from under-lit and over-lit environments, making it perfect to practice exposure.

Photo by Wong Jin Shen

Photo by Wong Jin Shen

The photos above are my photos, shot with a Canon 5D Mark III and a Tamron SP 24-70mm f/2.8 DI VC USD. But I never learned as much as by having to verbalize and show others how to do it. So for practice, I will be editing and evaluating the photos that Jin shot on a Canon EOS Rebel XS.

I love how he composed his shots of the dinosaurs, it's dynamic and energized. Jin's DSLR had the lowest range and built of the group. With barely half the megapixels count and 1.5% of the Mark III's ISO capacity, the problems he had to solve were different than others:



Dark lighting condition requires more light entering the camera. This can be done by having a high ISO, slow shutter speed and/or wide aperture. 

Problem 1

Jin's DSLR had a confined 1600 ISO and a kit lens with max f/3.5 aperture. Under the exhibit's dark lighting condition, he would have to use a slower shutter speed to not underexpose the image. Problem with that is he didn't have a tripod, and any slower than a 1/60 shutter risks camera shake.

Also, there is a lot of image noise by having to use the max ISO.


Shoot in RAW. Underexpose the image a bit to avoid camera shake and do a post-edit.

Problem 2

Gave him my prime 50mm lens with a max f/1.8. The wider aperture allows him to use a faster shutter speed. But with that, the shallow depth of field became problematic when he wanted to shoot fully textured rocks (image 3-5).


He can take multiple photos with different focus range and do a focus stacking in Photoshop. It'd be better if he had a tripod. Or he can just stand further away from the subject, and then crop in edit. But with the camera's low megapixel, the resolution wouldn't be desirable. 


Jin should get a better camera... Haha.

If he wants to go pro. Because this Rebel XS is only good for consumer level. I mean, the iPhone 6 has higher resolution than this camera! For a prosumer level camera (not 'pro'), the Rebel t5i is best for beginning DSLR-users who want to produce media content.

But if not, then he should use a tripod and shoot in RAW so he has a wider editing range. Below is an example of editing a JPEG vs. editing a RAW. Notice how crunched the pixels are when not shooting in RAW.



A note to consider when exporting JPEGS to post on web:

If you're editing in Photoshop then don't Save As... JPEG. Instead, Export>Save for Web (Legacy). This will ensure your photos being the same colors on different viewing platforms, like on a mobile (look below).

If you're editing with Lightroom, then the image automatically exports as web legacy.


That's it for now. Till next time!