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Often we get away with bending the rules, but with animals it's rare to see a shot really work where the eyes aren't in focus. So on the first one I'd say the eyes would have to be in focus - otherwise it's got a lot of potential.
On the second one, again light tends to draw the eye, so the subject of the photo wants to be the bright doorway. Maybe some other composition (take the shot from the doorway perhaps?). Again, the subject has great potential, and both shots are nearly really good.
Agreed on the first - generally any subject with eyes needs them in focus - it's what we're drawn to.
The second - I'm guessing the camera was using matrix metering and the bright area outside has fooled the camera into underexposing the subject. You can get round this by taking control of the exposure and using centre-weighted or spot metering off the subject. More experience will tell you that this likely to happen with this sort of scene. Some fill flash might also help when the subject is going to be backlit.
Thanks for the comments, I am still learning the camera and only used it on the auto settings (portrait and landscape) to try it out and get used to it. I am endevouring to learn the light settings and extra bits as i go!
I managed to get two of my daughter in the doorway one with the light different, do you think it is better.
As for the darn sheep....it wouldnt keep still!!!! lol
Thanks for the comments,
So I am going in the right direction taking up and learning photography then!!
I dont expect wonderous shots from the off but hope i can improve, Ha my other half (Dave) in case you wondered why we use 2 diff names will never get a look in now!
Ok now i'm ranting as i tend to do so im off for a while,
The second is much better - you can see that there's less brightness to the left of the shot outside the door, and to the right in the window area, to fool the camera into underexposing the subject. Essentially the same shot but it shows you how exposure can make or break a shot.
Terri - for the sheep you should put the camera into aperture priority mode, and select a larger aperture number (= smaller aperture). That will give you a larger depth of the picture in focus, so you would get the eyes as well as the nose. Alternatively take the camera out of autofocus and do it manually, but that will be tougher to make a sharp photo with a frisky sheep!
It sounds like the problems I have trying close ups of plants or flowers outside, when the breeze keeps taking the subject in and out of focus. To get around this, I shoot in bursts with the camera set to 3 or 5 fps. Still a bit hit or miss I suppose but does help to put the odds of getting one sharp back in my favour. I use this mostly if I'm after a shallow DOF.
Combine this with Senninha's advice on AV mode and it'll up the odds even more. It will depend on how much DOF you're after and how predictable the movement of your subject is.