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ScottMcC

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now I know I'm hardly an expert photographer, but I like to think that every now and then I take a good picture, and I at least know the basics of photography.

that said, here's an example for lien. taken with a Canon digital elph 600, digital macro setting, autofocus, no flash, iso 200, f 2.8, and a 1/30 second exposure, no tripod. just goes to show that you can get a decent photo with a suboptimal setup, provided you make it work for you. would it be a better picture with a tripod, a nice macro lens, iso100, a longer exposure, and stopped down a bit? yes. but I still think it's an ok picture.

 
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cdub

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It's true that with inexpensive entry and mid level automatic cameras, every now and then a shot just works out. The sun hits the right spot, or the spike stops swaying, or the autofocus just happens to cooperate every 1/100 shots. I do like the "semi-manual" mode on my point-and-shoot camera that allows me adjust iso and exposure, and bracket photos so that I can try to acheive the most true to life color without washing out with a flash, and I end up with a higher percentage of shots that look great without moving to a DSLR that would take me years to figure out how to opperate. I use a Panasonic FZ5.

When I was shopping for my camera I tried A LOT of them in the stores. I always checked out the macro modes to see how close each camera would let me get to a subject. The employees must have thought I was nuts taking really close up pictures of other cameras or pieces of the display.
 
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Mahon

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Great picture Scott!

No offensive, but that Masdevallia flower looks like a hairy butt... :)

-Pat
 
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ScottMcC

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actually...I think that you need to know more about photography to get really good photos out of a crap camera than to get the same quality out of an SLR. But with either you need to know something to get really good photos.

to take semi-ok photos, any idiot can use a point and shoot, but an SLR in the hands of an idiot doesn'tdo too much.

hopefully I'm making sense.

and everyone should read this book.
 
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gore42

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That looks like a useful book, Scott. The book I found very helpful was "The Zone System for 35mm Photographers" by Carson Graves. I suspect that it's out of print :)

Looks like a nice masdevallia, too. Could use a little more depth of field :)

- Matt
 

ScottMcC

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It definitely could use more depth of field...but in order to get that, I would have had to step up the iso and get a grainy picture, or lengthen the exposure and get a shaky picture. I tried both, and this was the one that looked the best overall (I deleted the other pictures or I'd show you the differences).
 

SlipperFan

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ScottMcC said:
It definitely could use more depth of field...but in order to get that, I would have had to step up the iso and get a grainy picture, or lengthen the exposure and get a shaky picture.
Or you could use a tripod. Maybe even a "beanbag" to set on to steady the camera.
 
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lienluu

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Hi Scott,

Thanks for the info.

Well, I tried yesterday to take some photos on f8, gosh they came out awful. too much light. I reduced to f2.8 and still same problem. I need to sit down one day and just do some serious reading and practicing. Just need to find the time.

Lien
 

SlipperFan

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Very often, I will place a gray card in the frame behind the flower, take an exposure reading, then take away the card to actually make the exposure. That takes care of the "too much light" problem caused by photographing smallish flowers against a dark background. The dark background overwhelms the camer's meter, which sees it as gray and the result is overexposure. Sometimes, I'll even use the white side of the card for that purpose.

By the way, f/2.8 is probably the largest aperture on your camera, letting in the most light. f/16 is the smallest. Substitute f/ with 1/ and you'll understand that aperture numbers are fractions.
 

gonewild

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lienluu said:
Hi Scott,

Thanks for the info.

Well, I tried yesterday to take some photos on f8, gosh they came out awful. too much light. I reduced to f2.8 and still same problem. I need to sit down one day and just do some serious reading and practicing. Just need to find the time.

Lien
If you are setting your camera in Aperture Mode on f8, changing the aperture to another f number will not effect how light or dark the picture is.

Aperture Mode is simi-automatic, where the camera seeks to expose the image at a certain light level. As you change the f-stop up or down the camera will change the shutter speed up or down to keep the same light level. In any automatic or semi-automatic mode (A, S or P) you will need to use Exposure Compensation + or - to adjust picture lightness or darkness. Or switch to Manual Mode to override the automatic meter reading.
 
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gore42

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Scott, I was just joking :) You're lucky that your Elph has manual shutter control... I have a Nikon Coolpix 7600, and it's 7Mpix, which is nice... but has no manual control of shutter speed or aperture.

I've been desperately looking at Ebay for the past week at Canon EOS 20d bodies. The price seems to have dropped quite a bit now that the 30d is out, and there aren't really any features that the 30d has that I care hundreds of dollars about. Spot metering would be nice, I guess...

- Matthew
 

ScottMcC

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I think for macro work, a flash is hard to use, regardless of type. existing light is much more predictable. just fire up those big ole grow lights, and that should give you enough light to take a decent picture!
 
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