I just started photography and have a problem

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by dragnknite, Mar 4, 2008.

  1. dragnknite

    dragnknite TPF Noob!

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    I have the Nikon D40x, and I am really interested in bird photography, but my camera seems to have a problem....at least, I have a problem understanding it: I wanted to test out all the modes and settings, but whenever I use anything higher than 1/80s shutter speed, I get a black photo...the only thing I can take a picture of at anything higher is a lightbulb! The same thing happens when I set the aperture to high!(Note: I have only tested this inside, with no flash, because when I use flash the shutter speed only goes up to 1/200s, which works)

    Like I said, I am brand new to photography, and I'm probably doing something wrong. I really want to take pictures of humming birds, which are common here, but if I can't get the shutter speed (or aperture) to work right at a high setting, then they will just be a blur!

    All Help is greatly appreciated! Thanks in advance!
     
  2. Mav

    Mav TPF Noob!

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    Read your camera manual for one, and get the book "Understanding Exposure" by Bryan Peterson for two. You can't use the different modes (PSAM) until you understand how exposure works.
     
  3. dragnknite

    dragnknite TPF Noob!

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    I have read my camera manual, thank you. Also, I wanted to ask here because after spending money on the camera, I didnt want to have to go out and buy a book. I was hoping someone could sum up a solution for me...rather than politley call me an idiot(if thats isn't what you were doing, than I'm sorry I read your post wrong)and rather than go out when I get the time, find the book, buy it, and read it.

    I figured someone here might be nice enough to help, after all this section says in the decription that its a place to ask begginer questions.
     
  4. Stranger

    Stranger TPF Noob!

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    Although i must say, spending money on something does not make you an expert. You should never invest in a new hobby thinking knowledge will come freely because you bought the camera. But, i just spent 5 hours studying something and am in a horrible mood so maybe helping you will help me out.

    Solution: The shutter speed ( 1/80 ) is going to quick to allow enough light into your camera to produce an image. To get a proper exposure, you need an agreement between Aperture, ISO, and Shutter-Speed.

    The smaller the Aperture the wider the opening. So its backwards in a sense (f/2.8 is bigger than f/22)

    Summary - Quick shutter speed + small (high f/#) aperture = underexposed... Now this is assuming you bought a math book and did not assume the knowledge because you paid for the class....

    Go buy understanding exposure, it will save you a lot of time.. In the meantime, you can google aperture and shutterspeed and iso to piece my equation together.

    Happy Shooting
     
  5. Mystwalker

    Mystwalker TPF Noob!

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    I think the key word is "testing inside".

    Unless you are going to find a humming bird inside, the conditions will not be the same.

    Out in bright light (sunlight) I doubt you will have much problem with using faster shutter - please post what speed you are successful with. I have some skittish humming birds in back yard so do not have very many opportunities to test before they fly off.

    I'm also assuming you are using the kit 70-200 or 70-300 (something like this)? I forget which one. Do not think you will get anywhere near bird with the other kit lens (17-55?). Not sure that "long" lens is good for testing indoors - I remember aperture ("size of hole to let in light") was kinda small (f/4-5.6?).

    Like other poster recommended ... read your manual because it will give you some ideas on how to work around low light situations. Do not have that book myself, but everyone recommends it - these are people you are asking question so they can't all be wrong ... buy that book :lol:. In your case, "low light situation" may not even apply because humming birds do not come out at night.
     
  6. dragnknite

    dragnknite TPF Noob!

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    Well thank you for telling me you were in a bad mood, I took your comments with a grain of salt.

    Actually, the big reason I bought the camera is because I got it brand new for 230 dollars! I wouldn't spend a thousand, or even 500 dollars on a camera if I was just begining.

    I didnt come here knowing absolutley nothing and expecting a full course, so dont worry.I already knew the relationship between shutter speed/aperture....I actually did google things before coming here and asking! I set the camera on the lowest # aperture I was able to, which was 5.6 I think, 200 iso, and 2000 shutter speed and still got black photos, so I had already tested that....Thats why I think Im doing something wrong.
     
  7. dragnknite

    dragnknite TPF Noob!

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    I am using the default 18-55mm lens, I can afford a better one, but the humming birds are literally RIGHT outside my window in the morning, almost close enough to touch, so it shouldnt be a problem.

    Well, I am going to test it out tommorrow outside, I really hope that the reason was because I was inside.

    I ahve read my manual, I love manuals, so it was the first thing I did...of course I couldnt memorize the entire thing though!
     
  8. LaFoto

    LaFoto Just Corinna in real life Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Hiya dragnknite, and welcome to ThePhotoForum.

    I hope you don't feel you're having a bad start here. The Beginners' Place is, indeed, a place for beginners to all, the hobby, the forum, their camera, to ask questions. And they should be given some good, explanatory answers. References to Google or books are not very helpful.

    Well, when you go outside (in daylight), and set your camera to wide open (lowest aperture number) and go through all the shutter speed times you can go to, find out exactly WHEN you begin to get only black "pictures". It may actually be a fault, and if you record it and report it at the camera shop, you might be entitled for a replacement camera.

    In daylight conditions (sun), with a wide open lens, as of 1/125 sec you should begin to get OVEREXPOSED photos, much rather than black ones.

    Which is why I begin to think there might be something wrong with the camera.
     
  9. dragnknite

    dragnknite TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the welcome, and I am fine with a little aggression, every forum has someone in a bad mood at any given time, so I take responses with a grain of salt, and again thank you for the nice welcome statement!

    I will deffiniltely test that out then! If something is wrong with the camera, I have a nice 4 year w/ accidental damage warranty aat best buy!

    So I will deffinitley test that, and as I said before, they are severly underexposed when i take pictures of pure light, so you are probably right!

    Also thank you mystwalker for your nice response!:)
     
  10. dragnknite

    dragnknite TPF Noob!

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    Ok, I thought I would post my settings

    Shutter speed: 80
    ISO:100
    Aperture: 5
    Flash off
    Manual settings mode
    Everything else is what it came as default on.
    The photos are alomst all black, save for when i take a picture of light bulbs.(Note: the rooms I am taking picturs in are fully illuminated.
    So I think you are right,Lafoto, and it needs repair!
     
  11. LaFoto

    LaFoto Just Corinna in real life Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Yes, though indoor photos at 1/80 sec may be UNDERexposed, they should still show SOMETHING - something MORE than a photo taken of a light bulb (direct shot).
     
  12. dragnknite

    dragnknite TPF Noob!

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    Also, when the flash is on, and i goes up to 200(the max setting with flash for some reason) it works perfectly...strange right?

    Oh, and it shows NOTHING when I take a picture in a fuly illuminated room at 80, when I do take a picture of a light bulb, it justy shows VERY little surrounding it, and the bulb.
     

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