Suggestions on camera settings Nikon D5000

autumnleaves

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I'm shooting with a Nikon D5000 and am really not happy with the quality of my photos. I have the 18-55mm and 55-200mm lenses. Tomorrow I'm going to a garden with lots of scenic opportunities and was wondering if you could give me some advice. The day is supposed to be sunny and I would like to come home with more than washed out colors. While shooting I can see the exposure is to bright or dark but can't compensate while in the scene modes or shooting straight auto. What would you recommend in lens choice and shooting mode?

Karen
 

dinodan

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If you could post a photo an example of what you're calling "washed out", it would be helpful.

What time are you going to be at the garden? The best light for photography is early and late in the day. Midday sunlight generally gives less satisfactory results on a sunny day. Your camera's light meter should be giving you the right advice, and should not be producing "washed out" colors (which sounds like over-exposure). If you're not satisfied with what you're getting in the auto or program modes, my suggestion would be to shoot in the manual mode and adjust aperture and exposure yourself.
 

PhotoXopher

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1. Don't go at noon or hope for overcast skies.

2. Try aperture priority mode, the 'A' in PSAM and set it to whatever makes your shutter speed hand-holdable (usually 1/60th or better). If the shots are close you can set your aperture around f/5.6 if you don't need the whole scene in focus, otherwise try f/8 or so.

3. Shoot RAW so you can save improperly exposed shots much better when you get back, shoot RAW + JPG if you have enough memory.

4. Use that display on the back to review your photos and don't use Live View mode to compose the shot, use the viewfinder.

There's no magic settings anyone can give you since every day will vary - basically any advice will be a guideline to try.
 

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