What the heck did I do wrong here?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by dcook22, Jun 22, 2010.

  1. dcook22

    dcook22 TPF Noob!

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    Hi all,

    I'm trying to figure out which setting(s) I screwed up to get the shots below. My son's 4th birthday was this weekend and I took some pictures with my Nikon D5000 and my only lens which is a Nikkor 18-105mm AF-S VR. The first shot is from Saturday when he got his first bike and the disastrous pics are from Sunday when he went to his first baseball game and got the chance to run the bases on the field.

    The Saturday shot, though far from perfect I'm sure, is at least acceptable. The "on the field shots", however are simply atrocious. I changed nothing that I can think of about my settings between the two days. obviously that was a mistake. Can someone help me to learn what I should have tweaked?

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    Thanks in advance for any and all helpful comments. If anyone can suggest links to threads that might help me understand my mistakes, that would also be much appreciated.
     
  2. Bitter Jeweler

    Bitter Jeweler Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    What mode are these shot with?
     
  3. GregR

    GregR TPF Noob!

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    The shots at the game are extremely over-exposed. When you change the amount of light you are shooting in you need to adjust accordingly.

    Basics: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exposure_(photography)

    Beyond that there are TONS of sites, books, etc on how to make changes...

    I am assuming that these were not taken on the full auto setting as well.
     
  4. myfotoguy

    myfotoguy TPF Noob!

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    They are way overexposed. From scene to scene adjustments need to be made to properly expose the image. The bike and field shots all have the same exposure of ISO 200, f/5.6, 1/160. Although one of them was f/3.5. The one at 3.5 was at 18mm, the others at 105mm, so I think you were in manual with the speed set to 1/160. The f/stop changed because you had it set to max, and it's a variable aperture zoom lens.

    So, you had the camera in manual mode an didn't make adjustments for the brighter scene. Maybe you thought you were in auto, or aperture priority?

    To learn more about exposure settings: Myfotoguy: The Exposure Triangle (Myfotoguy Series on Exposure Part 1 of 5)
     
  5. Josh66

    Josh66 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Were you shooting in Manual mode?

    If so - that (what I quoted) is exactly the problem.

    In manual, unless the light is exactly the same, you're going to have to change the settings.

    I would suggest trying Aperture Priority for a while. If you insist of using manual, just pay attention to the meter (in the viewfinder, probably either on the right side or on the bottom - not sure on your camera specifically). I have never read it, but everybody seems to recommend it ... pick up a book called Understanding Exposure.
    The next 5 people to post will probably mention it as well, lol.


    How did you come to use the settings you used in the first one? If you were just guessing - good guess, lol.



    ----

    Checked the Exif - and yes, they were all in Manual at 1/160 sec. Flash fired on the first one.
     
  6. dcook22

    dcook22 TPF Noob!

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    Wow...Thanks for all the replies. I was in fact in Manual mode, although i'm embarrased to admit that was not an accident. I'm the proverbial guy with just enough brain to make him dangerous with regard to photography. I kind of like to jum right in.

    I didn't want to use the suto settings. Why own a DSLR if you're just going to shoot in auto, right?

    I'll definitely try aperture priority, though I confess I'm confused about that as much as anything. I asked a question about these shots in an email to a guy I know. I even asked about the aperture being too wide and allowing in too much light at f/5.6. He said that I should have been shooting at f/11 or so. I said, but the lens only goes to f/5.6. (kind of a spinal tap moment) he explained that the f/5.6 of my lens was just the maximum opening, but the lens will actually shoot at pretty much any f/stop I want. At that point my head exploded.

    I've heard of Understanding exposure. I think I'll pick it up at Amazon.

    What does this mean?: "The f/stop changed because you had it set to max, and it's a variable aperture zoom lens"

    I understand that the f/stop changed because I zoomed the lens to 105mm. Tim, When you say "set to max" is that something I set in the camera, or do you just mean that I zoomed the lens out to its max focal length?

    You also said: "So, you had the camera in manual mode an didn't make adjustments for the brighter scene."

    Specifically what adjustment should I have made for a brighter scene? Should I have set the aperture differently? The shutter speed? What do you recommend I try? I'll take some test shots and fiddle with things.

    Graystar, I don't think I dialed anything. like I said, I just left it as-is and screwed things up anyway. But how would I dial up the exposure compensation? Would that be done in aperture priority with the dial on the back? Sorry for my lack of terminology, I'm obviously a n00b.

    Thanks again for the fast an helpful replies. i'll start reading.

    Dan
     
  7. dcook22

    dcook22 TPF Noob!

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  8. dak1b

    dak1b TPF Noob!

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    check your meter.
     
  9. myfotoguy

    myfotoguy TPF Noob!

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    Some zoom lenses (many, most that are not "pro") when you dial in the maximum aperture, it changes as you zoom. It's a limitation of the lens design. Set your lens to 3.5, then zoom it will change to 5.6 at the long end. The design won't allow it to be any bigger than 5.6 at it's maximum zoom setting.

    What setting? I would have adjusted the shutter speed until the meter zeroed. Have you been looking at the meter as a guide to set your camera? You may want to start in aperture priority mode. That's where many photographers are all the time. you set the aperture and the camera chooses the shutter speed. I wouldn't go full manual until you understand how everything relates (see my article I linked to above to give you a basic understanding of the relationship).
     
  10. dcook22

    dcook22 TPF Noob!

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    I've been told that by someone else, but I was unsure how to do that. He explained that on Nikons, there a small display of several green squares with a zero in the middle. But a quick perusal of David Busch's NIKON D5000 Guide to Digital Photography Which i own and try to read during my "free time" outside my 60 hour work week, shows that guide having a connection to focus and not metering. These images were all done with matrix metering inside the camera. i didn't use a handheld light meter. (I have no idea how to use one)

    So, how can I "check my meter", and when i do check it, what should I be looking for, and what should I have noticed was wrong.

    thanks.

    Dan
     
  11. Bitter Jeweler

    Bitter Jeweler Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    RTFM
     
  12. dcook22

    dcook22 TPF Noob!

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    So you're saying that my lens will prevent me from shooting in an aperture outside f/3.5 - f/5.6? Is that correct? I only ask because in the past i've taken pictures and the Exif data shows f/10and f/11. So it's a bit confusing. Enlighten me if you will.

    how would I have seen this? What meter should I be looking at in the viewfinder?

    Nope. :confused:

    Thanks again. i await your reply.
     

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