1st day w/ new SLR


TPF Noob!
Mar 16, 2009
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Hi everyone, I just got my new Sony A350 this past weekend and took advantage of a nice day to get a few pics of the kids. I'm still in auto modes for the most part. Here are a few of the better ones..... CC please.




...Ok I do understand this is your first few with the real gear but get it off auto and expose for the child and not the overall scene. The first two are underexposed due to the background overpowering the subject as far as brightness goes. The white fencing material back there fools the meter and requires exposure compensation.
Good first attempt, but start with reading the manual and play around with the settings. I'm not too familiar with sony's SLR's, but is there a way that you can spot meter with those? The kids as cute as they are are over underexposed (dark) and loose their spot in the photo and the eye is drawn to the fence. Also, if you have a flash, use it when outside to brighten the subject while keeping the background subdued.
My best piece of advice still being an amateur is to definitely get off auto. I was stuck in auto for so long until I finally had enough of post processing (and sometimes having no luck in that dept either). White balance you can always change around in PP (post processing, so I am told) but I always set my WB for whatever setting I am in...I also generally keep my camera mode in Aperture Priority mode because for me, picking the shutter speed always seems like the difficult part for me. Keep your ISO low (100-200) on a nice sunny day (or even an overcast day is fine). Cute kids and nice shots, but the your camera definitely metered for the white fence and completely overpowered the picture. I like the second photo best because it's very candid, but check your composition...the blurred out background is always nice for a shot like this, but I am still focused on the slide and the house behind her. I would have done this shot vertically or cropped it vertically. The first thing I make sure of, is that my subject is clear and that nothing is taking away from it. It's tough...lot's of things to check before you start snapping shots, but once it becomes a habit, it comes naturally. =)
thank you all very much for your comments.

I love the camera so far, and hope to get more closely acquainted with it soon. I've had it for 3 days and am on page 60 of the 160+ page manual :lol:
I would highly suggest reading the book "Understanding Exposure" by Bryan Peterson. It is a very well written book (I read it and found it a huge help), easy to understand, and goes through the basics of photography....aperture, shutter, ISO and other similar elements.

As already pointed out, your exposure is off.

You also need to work on composition and NOT have your subject in the centre of the picture (well, most of the time not). Its called the Rule of thirds (explained in the above mentionned book), you can google it to get a clearer understanding.

Keep at it!
Outdoors on a bright, sunny day are generally not the best situation to be shooting in. As your pictures show and you may have already found out...bright light is harsh and produces very strong shadows. Oddly enough it's times like these that the little pop-up flash is worth using...called 'fill flash', it helps to reduce the strong shadows on your subjects and can help even out your image. Using fill flash.

Another way to avoid the strong shadows and contrasts is to shoot your subjects while they're in the shadow of something with the sun or light source at your back (basically anywhere behind you). This way your subjects will have a more diffused type of light hitting them from the front and your images won't be so contrasty.

Found more information about shooting in sunlight...Into Hard Light.
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