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Old 01-17-2012, 10:39   #1
Padre
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Motivation

Hello again all, has been a while since I last wrote.
Received my Christmas present from the wife just the other day (mail service in Iraq is SOOOOOO behind..). Anyway, it's a Canon T-3. Like the camera and am learning the in's/out's of the system but one thing is bothering me.
I have been shooting regular film for ages (over 30 years) and loved it. I think I got pretty good at it and understood the different aspects of it pretty well (exposure/speed, etc).
Now I feel like I am starting all over again with the digital format. I have had a couple of point and shoot digital camera's over the years and thought I was pretty good with them, but now...I'm not too sure.
My pictures look like a rank amateur. I took some shots a party we had a few days ago...and was embarassed with the results. RANK AMATEUR SNAPSHOTS!!!!
I hate to send anything to the "snobby" forums because, from what I've read, they tear you up if the shots aren't "professional grade".
Have downloaded several books on exposure/lighting/etc and have restarted "learning digital".
Any suggestions from the forum??? I have (had?) a real passion for photography (if there was anything in life I could do full time, photography would be it).
Unfortunately, I am in a location which doesn't lend itself to the best subjects...and with only the kit lens, not much variety.
We do have some interesting angle shots of buildings, etc...so might start with them to remember the basics.
Sorry for the long posting, but just wanted some advice from the group.
Thanks....
Padre (in the big kitty litter box - IRAQ) Through-the-Lens Club
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Old 01-18-2012, 11:43   #2
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WOW...25 people looked at my posting..and nobody posted a comment.
Unbelievable
Never mind.
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Old 01-18-2012, 15:30   #3
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with film the post processing is done in a darkroom. not so with digital, i would recommend getting a post processing/editing program. Photoshop Elements should be more than sufficient.
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Old 01-18-2012, 20:18   #4
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Could you post some of the pictures so we can see what you're refering to? It's hard to offer suggestions without seeing what about the images bothers you and makes you feel that they're sub-par.

You might also want to poke around on the photography on the net forum - even if you don't post any images there, seeing what others are doing might help you out.

-Pat
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Old 01-18-2012, 20:20   #5
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What focal lengths, apertures, shutter speeds and ISOs are you shooting at?
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Old 01-19-2012, 05:15   #6
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Thank you for your comments.
Mostly been using the camera in Auto mode. Since photographic gear is hard (impossible) to come by, I have been using the kit lens and on-camera flash. Not happy with that but am waiting for my vacation to Thailand to look at picking up an off camera flash unit.
The settings have been all over the map...since the camera chooses the settings. I'm just about ready to just turn the auto modes off and go back to what I know, manual. At least with digital I won't be spending any money to experiment.
I am going to take some pics this weekend of the insides of a HUGE bombed out building, with different natural lighting. That should prove interesting. Will post the pictures when I get back.
I am using a Mac...and the photo software that came with the Canon seems to be pretty highly rated. Again, software is impossible to find over here..so am pretty well stuck with that, for now.
Again, thank you for responding. I'll post some pics after this weekend and you can give me your critique. I wouldn't dare post what I have now...with my name attached.
Padre...in the big kitty litter box.
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Old 01-19-2012, 07:47   #7
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Ahh - the on camera flash will definitely give 'snapshot' looking results because it's so close to the lens axis. One suggestion would be to turn off the built in flash and jack the ISO setting up - digital cameras are now capable of getting pretty decent images at much higher ISOs than you'd expect if you're used to shooting film. I've come to much prefer ambient light when shooting - the results look more natural.

Which kit lens do you have, the EF-S 18-55?

I've had good results shooting in auto mode (metering has improved immensly since the days of my old AE-1), but depending on the situation will often use either shutter or aperture priority to have a bit more control. Your idea to switch over to full manual exposure is a good one (especially if it's something that you're familiar with and understand from previous experience), and the great thing about digital (besides the savings on 'processing' cost) is that you get instant gratification and can immediately see if your settings worked or not, and based on that change them if need be.

Looking forward to seeing your pics!

And good luck in the kitty litter box!

-Pat
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Last edited by Cubdriver; 01-19-2012 at 07:48.. Reason: typo
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Old 01-19-2012, 10:42   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cubdriver View Post
Ahh - the on camera flash will definitely give 'snapshot' looking results because it's so close to the lens axis. One suggestion would be to turn off the built in flash and jack the ISO setting up - digital cameras are now capable of getting pretty decent images at much higher ISOs than you'd expect if you're used to shooting film. I've come to much prefer ambient light when shooting - the results look more natural.

Which kit lens do you have, the EF-S 18-55?

I've had good results shooting in auto mode (metering has improved immensly since the days of my old AE-1), but depending on the situation will often use either shutter or aperture priority to have a bit more control. Your idea to switch over to full manual exposure is a good one (especially if it's something that you're familiar with and understand from previous experience), and the great thing about digital (besides the savings on 'processing' cost) is that you get instant gratification and can immediately see if your settings worked or not, and based on that change them if need be.

Looking forward to seeing your pics!

And good luck in the kitty litter box!

-Pat
Thanks for the suggestions Pat...
Yes, I have the EF-S 18-55. I have heard mixed opinions of it, but it is what I have so, for the time being at least, that's what I'm using.
I am going to play with the settings a bit...again, digital is cheap (film wise) so can see the +'s and the -'s of each setting as I take the same picture.
Anyway, going to take some tomorrow or this weekend, and then post 'em. See what the audience thinks. Certainly want to try it with the flash off, as suggested. Hate the shadows it causes...
Thanks again Sir for all of the motivation....Dennie
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Old 01-20-2012, 05:58   #9
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auto is bad. it will give you decent plain pictures. you will get nothing great using auto.
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Ruger is coming out with a new pistol in honor of Senators and Representatives.
It will be named the "Congressman".

It doesn't work and you can't fire it.
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Old 01-29-2012, 12:01   #10
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Is your 18-55 the IS model? It's supposed to be fairly good. Mine was the old one and it served me well for a year.

Get it off auto and you'll grow by leaps and bounds. Learn to shoot RAW and you'll have a ton more options with PP, too. You may not need it but the data will be there to manipulate later.

I shoot about 98% manual while my husband uses A/V about 98% of the time. I like to play with under- and overexposure while he wants perfect exposure most of the time. You just have to find the setting that works best for you and go from there. It's digital so there is no expense to playing around so just have some fun.

Thank you for your service!
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Old 01-29-2012, 12:06   #11
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Also, check out http://photography-on-the.net/forum/index.php

It's a great site with TONS of info. There are some jerks there but overall you'll find a lot of help. If macro is an interest, be sure to see out LordV as his work is simply amazing (he's one of my favorite 'togs EVER!) and he's a really nice guy that will answer questions and encourage you as you learn!!!

I lurk a lot there as I don't feel like I know enough to really comment and help people.

If books are your thing, check out Bryan Peterson's Understanding Exposure then Learning to See Creatively. I have several of his (and two more on my wish list now!) as he is a great teacher.
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Old 02-03-2012, 08:21   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by emopunker2004 View Post
auto is bad. it will give you decent plain pictures. you will get nothing great using auto.
Auto is great. You just need to use it appropriately.

In almost all the cases, it is the photographer's eye rather than anything to do with the equipment. I used to shoot professionally and could do way more with a point-and-shoot than friends with dslrs.

A good place to start is shooting what you know. Work the shot concentrating on what is of interest. Strip away the rest, or use it to support the subject. Don't be afraid of getting close, or changing the angle of the shot away from eye-level.

Study other good photography. Ask yourself how it was shot. What angle, what light, what lens. You don't need any more equipment until you are rock solid with the basics. Learn how to see light. Then learn how to expose for what you want.

Oh, and take a lot of pictures! Practice comes only from practice.
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Old 02-15-2012, 02:10   #13
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Thank you for all of the contributions to my original thread. Lots of good advice, which I am taking seriously.
I guess one of my problems is I am stuck on a "site" here in Baghdad and am having a hard time finding interesting things to shoot. I will post a couple of pictures that I have taken but there is so much "stuff" around it, that it ruins the picture.
I live in a building where the center took a direct J-DAM hit during the war. We can walk through/around the area and there are some VERY interesting "shots".
Will try to post the pictues in the next few days. I guess "interesting" is in the eye of the beholder.
Again, thank you very much.
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