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Old Jan 15, 2006, 7:13 PM   #1
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Nice try. I see a couple composition problems here. First, the silver trays on the left are very distracting. Second, I would try shooting from a lower angle to get a better view of the candle jars. Third, the scene appears dark. If you used available light, fill flash would definitely help. If you used flash, tell us how you set it up so we might be able to help you improve it.

If you have the opportunity to shoot this again, I would recommend doing so and showing us the results/differences.

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Old Jan 15, 2006, 7:29 PM   #2
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Actually, those trays you refer to are a stack of seashells, which I actually inteded to get in the picture, not thinking they'd be distracting. I used the slow-syncro flash setting and ISO80. I will reshoot and repost to see what you think.
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Old Jan 15, 2006, 7:35 PM   #3
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Okay, here it is retaken.

The darkness at the top is actually the back of picture frames.
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Old Jan 15, 2006, 8:50 PM   #4
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Although there are three shells there, they seem to have no relationship to the candles. The backs of the picture frames provide a dark background which is good but the details of the frames are distracting.

Why don't you try a completely different setting for the candle jars or use something very simple and plain for the background. A piece of solid colored fabric or a dark colored piece of posterboard come to mind. Another idea--If you have access to a large dining table, remove anything that is on the table and place the jars close to the front edge. Then shoot at an angle such that the table behind the jars fills the frame.

You said something about using slow sync on your flash. I think normal sync would be better. If flash is too bright for the scene, see if your camera has a flash compensation setting. If so, set it to -1.0 or -2.0 to reduce the power of the flash. If the flash head is moveable, you might also try pointing the flash up to bounce the light off the ceiling.

I have mentioned several ideas here. I am not familiar with your camera so I don't know which, if any, of these suggestions are useable.

Keep trying. The more you shoot, trying different ideas, the more comfortable you will get with your camera and flash. Electronic flash can be intimidating but it won't take you long to learn a few simple techniques that will work in the majority of cases.

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Old Jan 17, 2006, 10:48 PM   #5
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Wait, I thought it was too dark? Is this one too light now? Sorry if I am a little off, but I got a new monitor, and have yet to get use to it. The slow-syncro flash just provides better coloring which is why I used it. Also, I was just using the standard locale of the candles. Oh well, thought it would be fun.
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Old Jan 17, 2006, 10:55 PM   #6
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I think you misunderstood me. What I was saying is that if the direct flash makes the scene too bright, you could try some of the suggestions to tone it down a bit.

BTW, I am not trying to be overly critical. Instead, I am trying to help you. One of the most basic techniques for good composition is to simply look at everything that shows in the viewfinder or LCD screen. If there is something that does not contribute to the photo, remove it if possible, or adjust your zoom or shooting position.

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Old Jan 19, 2006, 10:38 PM   #7
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Oh, I know your just trying to help. I really do appreciate it. I just am trying to figure out the best way to take the picture. Thanks for the suggestions!
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