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I need help with my photography skills with a digital camera

Discussion in 'Through-the-Lens Club' started by fnfalman, Oct 15, 2004.

  1. fnfalman

    fnfalman Chicks Dig It

    50,519
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    Oct 23, 2000
    California & New Mexico, US
    I just picked up a Sony Cyber-Shot Model DSC-P150 7.2 Megapixel, 3X Zeiss lens. I don't know why my pictures are coming out kinda crappy?

    This is my first experience with a digicam, so any help is greatly appreciated. I read through the manual and the operation is very simple.

    Anyway, attached is a pic that I took last night. Note how lousy it looks.

    You can hardly make out the Colt Python on top. I know that the room is not fully lit, but there are background lighting PLUS the camera's own flash.

    ;4 ;4 ;4
     
  2. Tennessee Slim

    Tennessee Slim Señor Member CLM

    4,413
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    Apr 14, 2004
    Mucus City, USA
    My guess is that the flash is reflecting off the shiny pistol(s) and convincing the light meter that the flash has fired sufficiently and shutting it off. That leaves the darker, non-reflective surfaces underexposed.

    Not necessarily applicable but, when shooting a subject behind a window or in a glass case, the rule of thumb is to shoot at a 30º to 45º angle to the glass to prevent ‘hot spots’ and flares.
     


  3. fnfalman

    fnfalman Chicks Dig It

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    California & New Mexico, US
    Thanks for the tip about shooting at an angle through a glass surface. I'll try to play with the camera more and take pictures of various peoples and things and I'm sure lots of it will be through a glass pane of some sort.
     
  4. Digital cameras don't seem to like a lot of contrast. You camera did pretty well, in fact, trying to balance the "silver" with the "black". You need some way to more fully illuminate all parts of the picture or else the reflection will make the camera think it has enough light to record everything in the picture.

    With my cheap digital camera, the blued gun would have been completely black!
     
  5. chevrofreak

    chevrofreak Senior Member

    2,696
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    Dec 27, 2001
    Billings, Montana
    flash = bad

    try taking some pictures outside in direct sunlight
     
  6. Ducman

    Ducman

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    Oct 26, 2003
    To eliminate overexposure/ underexposure like that, I shoot without a flash, with a tripod, I use longer shutter speeds. you get the detail, without the hot spots, also as said above, don't shoot perpendicular to flat surfaces

    good luck
     
  7. For some good photos and tips see
    http://www.praxagora.com/lunde/firearms.html
    by Ken Lunde.

    He contributes to this board from time to time and is active on the Sig Sauer board.

    He works for the company that produces PhotoShop, the image manipulation software.
     
  8. hile

    hile

    248
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    Sep 6, 2001
    Bucks County
    I remember being suprised the first time I saw how good some of Dr. Lunde's photoshop jobs are (redacting serial numbers and such); then I recalled for whom he works.
     
  9. fnfalman

    fnfalman Chicks Dig It

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    California & New Mexico, US
    Yeah!!!

    I printed out Ken Lunde's instructions and will have to find some good background material (silk or velvet) and then practice a bit. Supposedly this is a fairly decent digital camera, so we'll see how good it really is.
     
  10. fnfalman

    fnfalman Chicks Dig It

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    Oct 23, 2000
    California & New Mexico, US
    I think that Eric said that there was a problem with the server one night and he lost a bunch of pics from people.

    I really like this camera. It has accessories out of the wazoo. Everything from a waterproof underwater shell, underwater light, externally mounted flash unit, wide angle lens, two kinds of telephoto lenses, filters for special effects and polarized filters. I think that I'll get me a polarized filter for when I have to shoot through glass.
     
  11. fnfalman

    fnfalman Chicks Dig It

    50,519
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    Oct 23, 2000
    California & New Mexico, US
    I don't what's the deal with the "logo" attachment. Methinks somebody is funning meself.

    But this was the picture.
     
  12. sharpshooter

    sharpshooter Member Millennium Member

    1,847
    20
    Dec 25, 1999
    NV
    A "good" camera doesn't make you a good photographer any more than a good paint brush makes you a good painter.

    Photography isn't just the mechanics of focus, exposure, and pushing buttons. It's an art. There's light, angles, color, shadow, composure, etc etc. If you want your pics to be "intersting", there's a lot more work involved than just walking up and taking a picture. If was really that easy, everybody would have fantastic pictures, but the truth is that most people's pictures are pretty crappy.

    Still photography is it's own chapter in the book of art. Look at how Mr Lund frames his still subjects and uses light and shadow. Look at how he uses the background and the angles of each shot.

    You have to have that "eye" for what looks good, and creativity to turn a boring shot into something interesting, or an interesting shot into something unique. There's a guy here who has posted some pics of watches that he collects. FANTASTIC pictures! I think they're in the post titled "Post your favorite pics" or something like that.

    You don't TAKE pictures. You MAKE pictures. That's the key. Don't forget it.
     
  13. engineer151515

    engineer151515

    14,139
    221
    Nov 3, 2003
    Like the others said - reflected flash.

    Other notes (after 4 years of digital photography experience)

    Indoor lighting is always tougher. Outdoor lighting generally gives much clearer photos.

    Indoor action photos (such as sporting events) can be tough. I usually turn off the flash (not distract the players). Therefore, motion shots will come out blurry. Try to catch the moment when action stops. For example, my daughter plays volleyball. Therefore I try to catch serves at the moment the ball is hanging in the air and she is preparing to hit it. Or that fleeting "hang time" when she jumps at the net for a block. Requires some anticipation as the digital is slower that ye trusty - catch the instant - 35mm.

    More later
     
  14. sharpshooter

    sharpshooter Member Millennium Member

    1,847
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    Dec 25, 1999
    NV
    My friend's digital pic
    [​IMG]

    My digital pic
    [​IMG]

    Our cameras have comparable abilities and options. But mine turned out MUCH better than his did because I compensated for the bright sun light. (either switch to "sunny" mode, or else apply the "sunny f-11 rule which is adjusting exposure for bright light but don't wash out the white dress) I also added some fill flash to give me some detail in the shadows. Makes a world of difference, eh?

    Then all I did was crop a little on photoshop and that was it, no color alterations or anything else. And I wasn't even using a tripod. The real photographer was taking up all the space, I was just looking over his shoulder.

    It's what you know, not your equipment. Remember, you MAKE pictures.
     
  15. ColoradoPacker

    ColoradoPacker What's a Glock?

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    Feb 9, 2004
    Colorado Rockies
    What is the pic - John Kerry in a teletubbie suit?