I have no idea what I'm doing...

Discussion in 'Digital Discussion & Q&A' started by LouisRG, Feb 28, 2018.

  1. LouisRG

    LouisRG TPF Noob!

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    I recently started photography as a hobby - well, I would have had I been able to take acceptable photos.

    I've recently inherited an Olympus E-300 with 2 lenses: Olympus Zuiko Digital 14-45mm, and a 70-300mm one which I've been told is capable of 600x zoom. As a novice, all this kit sat in my lap is very daunting. That's why I need a hand.

    I need some tips on how to just get going. I'm getting very shaky photos every time - so far I've fluked 1 good-quality image (the one with the red car) and the rest are horrible, distorted and shaky. I don't know what I'm doing wrong, and I assume some fiddling with settings would eventually solve my issues, but I thought some tips from some more experienced photographers would be better.

    You can see what I mean below, and hopefully you'll be able to deduce what's going wrong for me. I've come to terms with what ISO, Exposure and all those terms are so feel free to explain using those - any help will be massively appreciated.

    Have a good one everyone :)

    01_forum.jpg 04_forum.jpg 05_forum.jpg 07_forum.jpg 02_forum.jpg


     
  2. BrentC

    BrentC Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    You need to tell us what camera settings you were using for each image. You have no exif with the images. Just by looks, the camera shot is to low shutter and getting motion blur and the other could be motion blur or just bad focus.

    Camera mode? (ASPM?)
    shutter speed?
    ISO?
    Aperture?
    MF or AF?
     
  3. LouisRG

    LouisRG TPF Noob!

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    For the car image I used an ISO of 100, aperture of f/8 70mm, shutter speed of 1/320 sec, camera mode was A and S-AF.

    The one of the poster ISO: 100, aperture: f/4 70mm, shutter speed: 1/2 sec, with the same camera mode and AF.

    What is a generally, all-around good setting?
     
  4. SquarePeg

    SquarePeg Nevertheless... Staff Member Supporting Member

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    1/2 shutter speed is too long unless you are using a tripod.

    I highly recommend the book Understanding Exposure by Bryan Peterson. It's a very easy to understand explanation of the exposure triangle. Also, if the camera was given to you, it may be a good idea to restore the factory settings and start from scratch with tweaks of your own. You may be fighting against some custom settings that are in place within the camera menu.

    Another easy way to learn is to use the "auto" mode to take a photo then look at the settings that the camera chose and adjust from there to what you want.
     
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  5. Light Guru

    Light Guru Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Search youtube for videos on the exposure triangle if you are not going to shoot auto. And even if you are going to shoot auto still search youtube for videos on the exposure triangle.

    The exposure triangle is that important to understand.
     
  6. vintagesnaps

    vintagesnaps Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Shutter speed looks like it was too slow on the picture of the camera (is that the Zenit?) and of the poster. That's a half second (1/2) shutter speed, I'd go with at least 1/125 (which means 1/125th of a second) as a starting point. I maybe go as slow as 1/60 if that's the sync speed on a camera, I can manage that hand held. (You'll figure out eventually how slow a shutter speed you can manage hand held.)

    You'll need to determine how to adjust the shutter speed and aperture both since they work together. Both allow either more or less light into the camera.

    My starting point for shutter speed is usually 1/125. If the meter indicates I need less light then I'll adjust to a faster shutter speed, maybe 1/250 and see what the meter indicates. Still too bright and sunny and too much light? then I'd go to 1/500, etc.

    I usually set my camera's aperture (lens opening) at f8 as a starting point because it's midrange and I can efficiently turn the lens and adjust a stop or two either way (turn one way to larger apertures, the other way to smaller apertures). The numbers are fractions so if you go to larger numbers, the aperture is smaller (the size of an f8 lens opening is the same as 1/8 of the focal length; an f16 is only 1/16 of the focal length and f4 is 1/4 of the focal length in size).

    If the meter's indicating I need more light, I'd open the lens a stop to f4 or to f2.8 etc. til I get a meter reading that shows I've got the appropriate amount. If I need less light, I'd set it to a smaller aperture like f11 or f16.

    It will take some learning and practice. If you jot down what you did, then see how the pictures turn out, that could help you see what worked and what didn't.
     
  7. Cortian

    Cortian No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Full auto mode? (If it has one.)

    In general terms: There is no such thing as an "all-around good setting."

    I concur with all of the above. ('Cept I never bothered with full auto mode, myself. I just jumped in and started flailing about :) in what Canon calls "Program AE" mode, which is kind of "semi-auto" mode.)
     
  8. vintagesnaps

    vintagesnaps Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Realized I was thinking more of a mechanical film camera than a digital camera that has auto settings. You could take some photos in all auto and notice how the camera sets aperture and shutter speed - and ISO with a digital camera. (With a film camera the ISO is determined by what film is used, such as 400 or 100 ISO.)

    In auto though I've found a camera may indicate some less than accurate settings - it doesn't know what you're shooting or in what conditions to know if a faster shutter speed would work better than a smaller aperture (if for example the meter is indicating less light). If you have a mechanical film camera too you may want to start learning how to set the camera in M, using manual settings (where you determine shutter speed and aperture, and the ISO on the digital camera or what speed film to put in the film camera).

    I find that I often set the ISO for my digital camera to what film speed I'd be using with a film camera. 100 or 200 is probably a good starting point outdoors on a reasonably sunny day. Indoors, or outdoors on a cloudy day or in evening light, I'd maybe start with 400 ISO and go up from there.

    (And getting OT, I saw Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds on some show out of the UK that I now get here in the US, Jools Holland maybe?)
     
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  9. LouisRG

    LouisRG TPF Noob!

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    I'm getting the general idea now - I'm just playing about between S, M and P modes and seeing what works for what light. My Zenit isn't working (think I saw you on my thread on it?), as much as I'd like to be using it, so I can't really gauge against it. I bought 12 rolls of 200 film to get playing with, however as you know, the camera's not working - incredibly annoying.

    (I've never been a big Jools Holland fan, but always have loved NG!)
     
  10. ac12

    ac12 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Find a local camera/photo class.
    I find that learning the basics is easier in person, where the teacher can actually see how you hold the camera and correct it. Doing it by internet involves a LOT of guessing, some of which will be wrong.

    For the time being, just use the 14-45 lens.
    Changing to a tele lens as you are learning the basics will just confuse the matter.
    Take small steps at a time.

    If you don't have the manual for the camera, download it.
    Then READ it, with the camera next to you, so that you can follow along see/do what the manual is saying.
     
  11. espresso2x

    espresso2x No longer a newbie, moving up!

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  12. espresso2x

    espresso2x No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    The E300 has a pop up flash iirc, useful for indoors like this. Else, use P programme mode and study the exifs of imsges it makes.
     

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