First week with first DSLR

Puppy

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I just got my first DSLR this week: a Nikon D40 with a 18-70mm lens. I've had a lot of fun playing around with it, learning how to use all the settings that my previous, old-as-dirt point-and-shoot lacked. I've finally got a handle on how to get decently exposed, reasonably sharp images (well, at least compared to my first attempts), but all my photos seem to still have a snapshot-ish quality: they're nothing special and kind of boring. I can't put my finger on what's not quite right... Poor exposure? Bad composition? I'm hoping someone could give me a little incite into what I'm doing wrong, or what I'm not doing right.

Here's a few examples:

1.) 1/8 sec.; f/4.2; ISO: 800 [EV: -0.67]


2.) 1/199 sec.; f/7.1; ISO 200


3.) 1/319 sec.; f/9.0; ISO 200 [EV: -1.00]


4.) 1/99 sec.; f/6.3; ISO: 200 [EV: -1.00]


This seems like a really great forum and I'm looking forward to hearing any advice or suggestions or criticisms you all have to offer.

Thanks!
 

azruial

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Hey, how's it going? I just got my first dSLR a month ago, so I don't have much advice, but I thought I'd say 'hi.'

One thing that I do notice which has helped me is that most of your images look like they are taken from a normal (standing up) posture. 99% of 'snapshots' come from this point of view, so if you want to get away from that, go climb a tree! Or, you could just roll around on the ground (great for pets, just don't get your lens licked! ;)). It's not a way to 'get great shots guaranteed' but a way to play with how you take pictures. I have found it very useful, because later you can see what all of these postures do and the feelings they create. Plus it's FUN, and you look like a dork! ;-D I love it :)

P.S. Cute dog! (Black Lab?)
 

Yahoozy

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First off, the dog
just to start, he looks like my dog Marley, a golden retriever, black lab mix
anyway i like how you utilized depth of field to draw attention to his face

next off, the snowy road
i love shots like this, probably because, since i live in California, i never see things like this
not to mention the illusion of a never-ending road, its a nice touch
just out of curiosity try a soft-focus on it to give it a more dreamlike quality
could make a bit of difference
and i wonder what that place looks like at sunset...

this river it also cool
but maybe you could try a higher f-number, slower shutter, and a mounted camera?
reduces chances of over exposer due to the longer shutter and for the long shutter you obviously need the tripod =P
and if the rivers moving quick enough itll blur the water, again making it look more dream-like

this last one aint really workin for me, sorry hahah
just seems a bit boring with the lighting and everything
maybe try coming back at sunset?

what DLSR do u have?
 
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Puppy

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Thanks for the tips! Please keep them coming!

Yes, the dog is a Black Lab: 13 months old. Love him to death. :wink:

azruial, I've tried taking pictures from different positions (I think three of the four I posted were from a squatting stance), but I'll have to try taking it a littler further... Thanks!

Yahoozy, I know what you mean about the farm. The sad part was, that was at sunset... Oh, well, it's an easy place for me to get to, I'll probably try again at a different time of day and see how that works. Thanks for the advice about the other photos!

Edit: Yahoozy, I have a D40 with a 18-70mm lens.
 

RKW3

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Good shots, I have a few suggestions:

-Try avoiding overexposure in the sky like that, so it has some blue in it. (or maybe it was just an overcast day?)
-On the river shot, get lower and look up stream. (try different compositions)

Just two little tips, overall these are pretty cool shots. My favorites are 2 & 4.
 

Brad Hardy

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give your dog a pat on the head from me. he/she looks like a sweet dog.
 
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Puppy

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RKW3: Thanks for the tips. I noticed the same thing about the sky, but fixing it seemed to underexpose everything else... Is there any way around this besides HDR?

Brad: Done. :)
 

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