My first few shots- D40- Tips needed/wanted!

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by jhendrix, Apr 21, 2008.

  1. jhendrix

    jhendrix TPF Noob!

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    Well, here are the first few shots i've taken, stupid photobucket screwed up the quality! So, if you know how to make that NOT happen I would like to know!

    Anyway, here they are:

    [​IMG]

    (This one didn't come out like I wanted it to)
    [​IMG]

    Annd, a few shots of my truck.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Thanks!
     
  2. sabbath999

    sabbath999 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Hi.

    A few tips...

    1. Hop over to the nearest photo store and buy yourself a polarizing filter... it will blue up your skies and give you better colors outside.

    2. Screw that UV filter on a bit tighter... it is vignetting (causing dark corners).

    3. On the truck (the last picture) you shot at 1/1250s f/4.2 ISO200 28mm. You would likely be better served shooting at 1/250th to 1/500th of a second with a much smaller aperture for greater depth of field... when shooting outside with the kit lens (which I am assuming you used) try to keep the aperture somewhere around f/11 which is the sharpest aperture for that particular lens (and a lot of others).

    4. Personally, I set my exposure EV at -0.7 because I think the D40's meter runs a bit hot... but that is me.
     
  3. jhendrix

    jhendrix TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the tips!

    1. Will do!
    2. I think the problem was the lens hood, when I zoom out it catches the corners of the lens hood in view. =/
    3. I haven't really messed with my settings much, but i'm going to go buy a book today and actually get into using the camera.
    4. That's what Ken Rockwells guide said to do too, so I actually have it set there. :D


    Thanks again!!!
     
  4. Ajay

    Ajay TPF Noob!

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    Sabbath gave you some great technical tips already, so I don't have anything to add there.

    About photobucket - I see people say that all the time, but I use photobucket too and I don't notice much difference in the quality of my shots after uploading them. Something that might help-
    Are you using photobucket to resize your photos? If so, you should stop and start resizing before you upload them with a program like photoshop. I use the Save for Web function and just change the image size to 800 on the longest side. I also have the optimize and bicubic sharper boxes checked. Try that and see if it helps. If you don't have photoshop, maybe someone else can help you figure out what to do.
     
  5. Mav

    Mav TPF Noob!

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    holy over exposure. Yeah what Sabbath said all around. Get a circular polarizer for outdoor photos, and go into "P" mode (assuming you weren't there already) and set the exposure compensation to -0.7 or -1.3 or whatever looks right. Set the image review screen to the "Highlight" display and try to avoid blinking areas, which are highlights getting blown out. Adjust exposure compensation until it looks about right. If you're feeling brave, click play on an image, hit OK, go to Filter Effects (or whatever it's called), and then color balance. You get a full RGB histogram. If you see any of the channels blowing out on the far right of the graphs, that means overexposure and you'll need to compensate accordingly. I don't think the blinky highlight display blinks for all 3 channels, only 1 or perhaps 2.

    The D40 has the same "hot" meter as the D80 does, and there's a pretty decent explanation here: http://www.kenrockwell.com/nikon/d80/d80-performance.htm#exposure
     
  6. jhendrix

    jhendrix TPF Noob!

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    Thank you everyone for the advice!


    Mav- I clicked the histogram on a few of the pictures, and yes they are blown out on the right side. =/ Tomorrow i'm going to go outside and take some pictures and get used to changing settings to get better pictures.

    Ajay- Yes, I think that's the problem, i'm going to start resizing before uploading to Photobucket and see if it makes a difference.

    I'm heading to Half Price books either tonight or tomorrow, i'm going to try and find Understand Exposure or any other books I can find on photography.

    Thanks again!
     
  7. sabbath999

    sabbath999 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    One thing you can do which can really help is to "chimp", which means to look at your shots every time you take a picture. Leave the histogram up as you are experimenting with your settings, it will give you a good idea of what is going on exposure wise.
     
  8. jhendrix

    jhendrix TPF Noob!

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    I edited the original post with the images I resized BEFORE putting on Photobucket and they came out alot better.

    Here's another one I took, I sharpened a little.

    [​IMG]
     
  9. brileyphotog

    brileyphotog TPF Noob!

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    The exposure problems have been covered already. So my advice would be to fill the frame. What are the subjects of the first two pictures?

    Also, it is visually pleasing to follow the rule of thirds and/or to leave even amounts of space when cropping the left and right sides. IMO the first picture could be markedly improved by lopping off the left 1/5 of the photo so there is the same amount of space between the back bumper and edge and the front bumper and edge. Especially if you are shooting things that normally move, any space in the picture should be in front of the vehicle, it conveys movement. Space behind makes me think the truck is about to back up. Also, experiement with rotating the camera slightly to get the car on a diagonal, which also makes the illusion of movement, drawing the eyes across the photo. You see that all the time in car magazines.
     
  10. prodigy2k7

    prodigy2k7 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I can second using the F number at 11.
    I tried using my lenses (low end lenses, sold at target or costco or best buy; not the best lenses LOL) at low f number so I can turn my speed up for sports. Not an entirely great idea.

    I always wondered why my surfing photos were kinda blurry even tho they were focused.

    I was using the lowest possible F number like 4.0 and such, someone told me low end lenses dont do so well when wide open (low f number), that the kit lens needs to be closed more (higher F number). I tried it, about F9 and I was amazed at the difference!

    I am about to invest in a Canon 50mm F1.4 I am so excited!
     
  11. lena5538

    lena5538 TPF Noob!

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    nice shots as a rookie!
     
  12. jhendrix

    jhendrix TPF Noob!

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    Thanks everyone! :D

    Heres a couple more I took, any tips on these?


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     

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