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Old Aug 29, 2007, 12:59 PM   #11
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Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 2

There are so many variables to your post that trying to address all of them would require writing a book.

If you only want postcard size photos from your camera there is just about no way to not get them. I will simplify this by sayingI have a 30D 8 megapixel, your 400D is also an 8 megapixel. I have a canon IPF5000 printer and I can print absolutely stunning 17 x 22 prints from my camera. They are smooth as buttermilk and sharp as razors. There is no grain or dotting, no sharpening halos or artifacts of any sort at all. Everything is perfect and nothing is magic.

I know that I am going to fire up a lot of people that won't believe this is possible. How can you take a file that is only about 8mb from the camera, that is about 47 mb opened in Photoshop and upsize it to a 17 x 22 600 dpi image weighing in at well over 700mb and it not be crap. RAW 600 dpi and 16 bit pixel depth is what my printer likes. I shoot in RAW and post process in RAW and print in RAW all at the higher bit depth. I do my intitial tweaking in Adobe Caera Raw and final tweaking and resizing in Photoshop CS2. Conclusion, you are not limited by your camera.

Get a decent lens, I would suggest for a first lens the 17 - 85 IS Canon. Get a large CF card say a 4 gig. Shoot in RAW. Shoot the same subject over and over changing your camera settings using program mode. Play with your settings, switch from portrait to landscape. Change your angle, zoom in and out. Use a Canon flash even in good daylight for shadow fill, take the same photo with and without flash. Just walk around and shoot anything that moves or doesn't move. Shoot shoot shoot, shoot like you don't care. Don't look for the shot that will work, find the shots that won't work, discover what fails and where it fails. Become so intimately familiar with your camera that is like and extension of yourself.

Next, go home and download your images and (purchase the newest version of Photoshop) look at your images in Adobe Bridge. Find the crap images, look at the exif data and see why they are crap. Poor focus, underexposed, overexposed, poor composition etc etc. These are the photos you will learn from. You will learn what to NOT do, you will learn what doesn't work, and why it doesn't work.

You will soon discover that your phtography skills are in the computer when you get home. You have a great camera and the curiosity to use it. Have fun and most of all enjoy yourself.

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