Newbie with Questions!

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by d70girl, Apr 27, 2006.

  1. d70girl

    d70girl TPF Noob!

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    First of all, I want to say hi! I'm new here. I've been a TPF user for all of an hour, so forgive me if I'm asking redundant questions. :oops: I'm fairly certain most of you are going to read this and either laugh at me or think I should sell my camera and buy a Kodak Funsaver, but hey... gotta start somewhere. :mrgreen:

    I just bought a Nikon d70s Digital SLR. This is the first "real camera" I've ever owned or used, and for my skills (I am COMPLETELY NEW to photography), it's great. Photography is something I've always wanted to do, and I seem to have an eye for it, so... I decided to buy a camera and see what happens.

    Problem is... this camera takes fabulous pictures... when it's on the Auto settings. ;) When I shoot in manual, everything comes out grainy. I know this HAS to be something I'm doing or not doing, but I'm trying to figure out what. I'm also fairly sure it's to do with the ISO/aperture settings, because I'm still new at that. I'll try to describe what's happening so that hopefully someone can help.

    When I take the picture, there's a little scale at the bottom of the viewfinder (light meter, maybe?) that lets you know whether you're overexposed, underexposed... and I try to adjust the ISO and aperture so that I'm in the middle, close to the "0" mark.

    As for what ISO/aperture I'm shooting at, it's usually ISO 50 for indoors, anywhere between 100 - 400 for outdoors, depending on how bright it is, and aperture varies, as I still suck at it.

    When I upload the pictures to my computer to view them, they usually look way darker than they did on the LCD of my camera. So I try to lighten them a bit, but then I get this grain -- like little tiny colored dots all over the picture. ??? Sometimes it even looks like lines going across the picture. ???

    What the heck am I doing wrong? Is there hope for me?

    Any help or tips that anyone could offer would be super. (I might just have to break down and take a class, right?)
     
  2. DepthAfield

    DepthAfield TPF Noob!

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    Welcome aboard D70girl!

    We all had similar questions with our first “real” camera; so don’t feel silly asking for answers. You’ve chosen a dandy camera to learn on… The D70s is simple enough for a beginner, yet it’s a camera that you can grow into.

    You’ve also chosen a great forum to join! There are many knowledgeable and talented photographers among our ranks here at TPF who are always willing to share that knowledge.

    As for help with your camera… My first recommendation is that you spend some quality time with your new camera and it’s owners’ manual. The manual no doubt, appears to be written in Greek at this juncture, but it will start making sense as you become more familiar with the camera.

    I would also suggest purchasing a book to help you learn about exposure… “Understanding Exposure” by Bryan Peterson is excellent. It can be found on Amazon.

    And finally, let me tackle this:
    Your images have been underexposed... Unfortunately, the LCD screen on your camera (or any digital camera) cannot be trusted as a measure for proper exposure. Learn to use the histogram function (it’s in your manual). The histogram (which will appear on the LCD) is a far better indicator of proper exposure than just the image on the screen.

    Oh… And reverse your thinking on the ISO setting. Very generally speaking, low ISO numbers are better suited to outdoor lighting conditions, while higher numbers are better suited to indoor or low light conditions.
     
  3. jemmy

    jemmy TPF Noob!

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    :heart: hey there!! im pretty new here too but thought i'd put my 2 cents in... my camera is a canon 350D... my first real camera too and i've fallen in love all over again..... my poor hubby:heart: ... anyway, i'm only book-taught (will be doing some short courses soon) and like to think i have an eye for it too!xx I like to shoot on the AV mode and just wind it to the widest apeture (smallest number!...i think they are just trying to confuse us here!!!:lol: ) and snap away... .because my main subjects ( ie. my kiddies!) are 4 and 2 i usually just shoot on auto focus.... they're just too bloody quick and i figure if i muck around focusing manually, i'm bound to miss some moments!! hope ive been of some help?! xx look forward to checking out your first posts! xxand beware.... this site is addictive! x:p
     
  4. Rob

    Rob TPF Noob!

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    .
     
  5. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    Learn to read the histogram (just google it). You really can't trust what you see on your LCD to judge exposure.

    You might want to learn how to adjust the brightness of your LCD screen. I'm not using a D70, but with my DSLR I usually turn up the LCD brightness outdoors, and then turn it down again in darker situations so that it more accurately shows me what I'm getting.
     
  6. magicmonkey

    magicmonkey TPF Noob!

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  7. Alpha

    Alpha Troll Extraordinaire

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    Welcome to the forum! People here are seriously crazy about photography, and always willing to help out. Make yourself at home. Seems like some other people already have your questions well covered. So i thought I'd just drop in and say what the other half of the board wants to say but hasn't. DSLR's are not "real camera"s.

    MWAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAA
     
  8. bigfatbadger

    bigfatbadger TPF Noob!

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    Can I ask what method you're using to lighten your pictures? You might be getting grainy images because you're using the 'brightness / contrast' sliders. To lighten your images you should use the 'levels' sliders.

    What software are you using to lighten them up? You could try downloading 'The Gimp' (google it, but don't click on anything that looks dodgy!), which has a levels function.

    Hope this helps
     
  9. d70girl

    d70girl TPF Noob!

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    I've tried and tried to download GIMP, but I haven't been able to download it and get it to work. I think I'm going to the wrong links or something. If you have a direct link that you've had success with, let me know and I'll try again.

    For now, I'm using Picasa. It's not great, but it's free, and free is good. :mrgreen: As I can afford better software, I'll upgrade.

    Thanks everyone, for your responses and tips! (And for the warm welcome!) I'll definitely try your suggestions, and I'm sure I'll be posting and asking more questions!

    Cheers!
     
  10. d70girl

    d70girl TPF Noob!

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    One more question --

    Could part of my problem be that I'm shooting with a high definition macro wide angle lens?
     
  11. clarinetJWD

    clarinetJWD The Naked Spammer Staff Member

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    The LCD is brighter than the image usually on the D70. I keep my LCD brightness at -2 to -3 and it yeilds much closer results. Always shoot RAW, and use a program like RawShooter (free) to do the raw conversions. Using this, you can save a whole lot of previously unsavable shots. As for ISO, I always shoot 200 unless I need the shutter to be faster, in which case I'll bump it up.
     
  12. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    That's right! Plate cameras are the only real cameras. It's been going downhill ever since they introduced film, and roll-film made it so any yahoo could be a photographer. ;)
     

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