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Old 03-31-2011, 07:21 PM   #1
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I want to get more into photography

I've been in and out of doing photography for a few years now and it seems like no matter how much I read about shutter speed, aperture and all that jazz I can't seen to absorb it and resort to just using the auto feature on my Nikon D40.

Does anyone have any tips on how to get more acquainted with the settings? The auto on my camera seems to make everything a bit over exposed. i'm against photoshop when taking pictures to be honest so I want good quality pictures straight from my camera with as little editing as possible.


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Old 03-31-2011, 07:32 PM   #2
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Been taking photos for a bit and only tip i can suggest practice, practice, and more practice. I say just take ton of pictures with different settings. I spend hours at home taking pictures of random stuff with different shutter speed, iso, and apetures
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Old 03-31-2011, 07:43 PM   #3
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Use the meter in your viewfinder.

Figure out what aperture you want to use (depth of field), then adjust your shutter speed until the meter is in the middle. This doesn't mean its perfect (but that's what the camera thinks), but it gives you a basis to work from. Take the shot, and review on your screen. If its too dark or too washed out, raise or lower your shutter speed accordingly. Faster shutter speed is going to let less light in, making the photo darker, slower shutter speed is vise versa.

If you end up having to slow your shutter speed down a lot and still get a dark photo, that's when its time to up the ISO. Be careful with this because high ISO means grain in the image.

Also, here's a site I found when I was trying to figure it out myself...
CLICKY

Remember, a camera is just a light proof box with a light-sensitive sensor inside. You're pretty much balancing how much light gets in using aperture, shutter and ISO.

I'm sure tukaniSVT will chime in at some point, that dude is full of info.
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Old 03-31-2011, 08:19 PM   #4
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OP I would suggest reading up here:
http://www.thephotoforum.com/forum/p...photo-gallery/

DON'T post a beginners thread like this one over there. Everyone hates those. You will be ridiculed.
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Old 03-31-2011, 08:25 PM   #5
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I wouldn't bother posting there at all. That forum is full of snobs.
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Old 03-31-2011, 10:46 PM   #6
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I wouldn't bother posting there at all. That forum is full of snobs.
Why do you say that?
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Old 04-01-2011, 09:50 AM   #7
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These are some great suggestions from mix1983 and lyonsroar.

If you are still overwhelmed and go back to Auto ... don't worry.

To also help you get better, work on Composition. Making a shot look good, finding the best place to take a shot and knowing where the best light from your immediate source will help give you the result you are imagining.

Those tips will help you when you do shoot in Auto. When I use my wife's P&S, and don't care much for manual settings ... I look at those things.

My boss ... who owns a Video and Photo studio but doesn't care to learn his equipment, lol ... uses Auto when we go and shoot.

So, don't think that using Auto is a bad thing.

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Old 04-01-2011, 09:52 AM   #8
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For lighting ... when shooting with the sun, look at your subject, see where the sun casts a shadow on the subject, if you can move the subject ... so so that gives it the best light and shadow.

Try to shoot with the sun behind you. Your flash won't pop up, your shots won't look "Washed ou" and you will be able to get some great color out of your subject.

If shooting in a lowlight area, find the best spot with the MOST light on your subject.

TIP: If the flash comes up, grab some clear masking tape and put it over your flash. It will soften the flash and give it more of a fill light as oppose to a direct harsh light. The more tape, the softer the light from the flash.

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Old 04-01-2011, 09:55 AM   #9
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When you fill you are getting better at the game ... look at faster lenses and even an attachment flash, like the Speedlight SB600 for the Nikons. ... with that Flash, you can direct your light better and it would come with a diffuser (like the masking tape) for the flash. No more tape.

Let us know if you have any other questions, always glad to help.

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Old 04-01-2011, 10:00 AM   #10
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One thing no has mentioned yet is moving on to just partially automatic features such as aperture priority (Av) or shutter speed priority (Tv). That way you at least get to set one parameter yourself...

In Av mode you set the aperture yourself. You have control of your depth of field or how much of the scene is in focus. With Tv mode you control the shutter speed which is pretty self explanatory. It can lead to some pretty interesting effects. After you master Av and/or Tv modes it's just a natural progression to full manual mode. I would say after two months or so of using Av mode I just switched it to manual one day and was surprised to see that I knew exactly what I was doing! It's a good feeling!
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