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PostPosted: Thu Jun 14, 2007 8:04 pm 
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Location: London
As promised in an earlier post, here are some shots from Valencia taken a couple of weeks ago. I'd value any feedback - positive or negative, as long as it's constructive!

http://www.flickr.com/photos/7930206@N0 ... 357558246/

Just to reiterate, I'm completely new to SLR's of any description, just a point and shooter that's read a couple of books, a few more magazines and spent too long on the internet!

Overall I got on pretty well with the camera. I'm so pleased I got the 18/200 VR, I felt I had enough on my plate without having to faff around changing lenses. These shots were taken before I had any filters.

I found I was making plenty of mistakes which I would imagine most inexperienced DSLRers make. Examples: not selecting the approriate aperture..often leading to.. allowing the shutter speed to get dangerously slow (for hand held shots). Forgetting to reset the camera only to realise I was shooting with high ISO or spot metering, etc, etc.

When on matrix metering, or centre weighted for that matter, I found the D80 had a tendency to over expose - especially in the bright sunny conditions. Has anyone else experienced this? Once I realised, I made a lot of use of the highlight playback screen and histogram facility. This helped me set the exposure compensation - If you look at the 'more properties' link on flickr you'll see a lot of the shots are around 0.7 - 1.0 -EV.

I don't own any Photoshop type programs...So these are pretty much how they came out of the camera. I have cropped a few and a couple have Dlighting.

Cheers

Tony

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 14, 2007 8:23 pm 
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Nice shots Tony!

I love the way you've often gone for details and patterns, sometimes in an absract fashion. I really like that style of photography.

The exposures look fine to me, but I've not had a close look. You're right to keep an eye on things like the shutter speed and also the ISO - I'm always forgetting to put it back after shooting at a higher setting, only to find I've then taken a load of sunny outdoor holiday snaps at 800 ISO!

Gordon


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 15, 2007 12:53 am 
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Some very nice shots in that gallery Tony!
The candle shot is a bit soft - 1sec exposure - did you use a tripod for that?

planetpeckham wrote:
[...] and spent too long on the internet!

Guilty of that myself! You can learn a lot on the net, but experience comes with taking a lot of pictures... Take your time to think about a shot before taking it... in time you'll do it faster and faster. If you shoot jpegs and do not have to change significantly the camera settings between shots, all you need to think about before pressing the shutter is your WIFE :) (got this from the net):
White Balance
ISO
Focus
Exposure

planetpeckham wrote:
When on matrix metering, or centre weighted for that matter, I found the D80 had a tendency to over expose - especially in the bright sunny conditions. Has anyone else experienced this?

It seems that the matrix metering algorithms on the D80 and the D40(x) are a little biased towards the active focus sensor... I noticed that on my D40 as well and adjusted my shooting techinque to compensate for it.

Darrin

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 15, 2007 10:35 am 
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Hi Tony,
Nice shots! Really sharp and great colors! I'm getting a D80 in a couple of weeks with the 18-200mm VR and no doubt I'll be doing the same things you were doing with never having a DSLR before.

You mentioned that your shots were taken before you had any filters. Which filters do you have now and what difference do they make?

It was interesting that you mentioned having to adjust the exposure by -0.7 to -1 because on Ken Rockwell's site where he's written a user guide for the D80 he says:
Quote:
Right out of the box at default settings the D80 does a great job so long as you preset the exposure compensation to -0.7

I'll have to try that when I get mine and see if it's the same.

P.S. I just saw your message further down about the filters you ordered from HK. Glad it worked out well, I'm going there in a couple of weeks to get all my kit.

How are you getting on with the polarizing filter? Someone on another thread mentioned that you have to be careful with vignetting...have you had any problems?

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Nikon D300 / Sigma 10-20mm / Nikkor 17-55 f2.8 / Nikkor 18-200mm VR / Nikkor 50mm f1.8 / SB600 Speedlight
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 15, 2007 11:19 am 
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Great photos! Valencia is such an exciting city at the moment, isn't it?

You're right about the over-exposure problem with matrix metering. I also have compensation dialled in. I don't seem to have the same problem with centre-weighted metering though. Gordon's right about the ISO 'problem' too. I took nearly 40 pictures one morning, forgetting that the night before I'd taken a lot in low light and so had ramped up the ISO. The Auto-ISO feature is handy I find. I had some initial problems with my Polarizer vignetting too but it was because I had fitted it on top of my UV filter. The vignetting only seemed to happen at the wide end (18-135mm).

Zorro.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 15, 2007 5:38 pm 
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Thanks to everyone for taking the trouble to check out my Valencia shots, much appreciated.

I'm now trying to get in the habit of hitting reset when I pick the camera up to avoid the inappropriate ISO settings, etc. (got this tip from Ken Rockwell - thanks ChinaMark!).

I forgot to mention, one unexpected result of toting a DSLR around at first was how self-conscious I felt...fortunately this soon wore off!

Darrin - yes the candle shot is a tad soft. I did use a tripod, I think the problem is I didn't focus properly because shortly before I was trying to snap some geckos and had to turn the AF assist light off to stop scaring the critters away! Note to self (again) remember to reset! I like the WIFE tip - thanks.

ChinaMark - to be honest I've yet to really test the polarizer, I only got it a short while ago. Although for the couple of shots I have done I didn't notice any vingnetting... I like the idea of going to HK in person to pick up your camera gear...I'm sure you'll save a bomb!

Zorro - Valencia is buzzing. It was a great place to run around with a camera and begin to get to grips with the basics. I've found the matrix metering / over exposure issue a bit of a pain to be honest. What I've started doing now is leaving the EV at 0, shooting in manual and making the allowance on the exposure display in the viewfinder ie one or two thirds to the right.

cheers

Tony

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 15, 2007 6:08 pm 
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Location: Quebec City, Canada
Darrin wrote:
Some very nice shots in that gallery Tony!
The candle shot is a bit soft - 1sec exposure - did you use a tripod for that?

planetpeckham wrote:
[...] and spent too long on the internet!

Guilty of that myself! You can learn a lot on the net, but experience comes with taking a lot of pictures... Take your time to think about a shot before taking it... in time you'll do it faster and faster. If you shoot jpegs and do not have to change significantly the camera settings between shots, all you need to think about before pressing the shutter is your WIFE :) (got this from the net):
White Balance
ISO
Focus
Exposure

LOL!


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 15, 2007 9:04 pm 
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Yeah some nice shots :) Definatly isn't helping my wait for my D80 ;)

I will also be remembering WIFE, hehe.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 17, 2007 3:23 pm 
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Ok, here's my 2cents...
Forget about WIFE! Set white balance and ISO to auto
and concentrate on focus and exposure!

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 Post subject: hey
PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2007 5:27 am 
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Joined: Fri Jun 08, 2007 5:29 pm
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Location: sydney, australia
Gordon Laing wrote:
I'm always forgetting to put it back after shooting at a higher setting, only to find I've then taken a load of sunny outdoor holiday snaps at 800 ISO!

Gordon


i do that too gordon. haha.

tony, i really like ur shots. do you tweak/edit your photos by any chance?

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2007 6:52 am 
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Joined: Sat Apr 07, 2007 9:23 am
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thanks kinteru!


The tweaking I do is nearly all in camera. I've turned up the colour and saturation modes. The reason I do this is probably because I was a point and shooter before and it seems that compact cameras tend to have punchier colours by default so I guess that's what I'm used to.

The only editing I do is cropping (nearly all images) and one or two have Dlighting applied with the free bundled Nikon software that came with the camera. I suppose I could do the Dlighting in-camera, but to be honest, it's easier on a big monitor.

tony

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