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Old Jun 21, 2005, 1:29 PM   #1
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I am just starting out with my Canon Rebel XT. I love the camera.....but for the life of me I cannot take a decent outdoors shot. I took a few of my daughter in her pool this morning, but they are just not very good. They actually look sort of grainy. Okay, dont laugh when you see the photos....I'm just beginning! But do you have any suggestions? These are only in auto mode. Is there any way to get the flash to do off in auto mode even when its bright outside?

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Old Jun 21, 2005, 2:55 PM   #2
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Well, it's not your daughter's fault. She's absolutely gorgeous! And I really don't see any graininess in the pics. My only comment is that the composition needs some improvement. There's a lot of busy stuff in the background that may be caused by the way you're shooting. Are you in Automatic Mode? I'm a relatively newbie also but what I've found really improves a picture is to shoot in AV or Appeture Priority mode so that you can control the depth of field. If you look at pictures that others submit and see the specifics such as the lens settings, etc. you'll probably find that in most cases they were shot in AV mode. Your pictures look good as far as focus goes. And the color saturation is really good too. Experiment with the AV mode. Take several shots one after the other of the same subject changing the F-Stop by one value each time. And try to control the objects in the background and avoid verticals and other things that will distract from your subject. You'll see a real difference.

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Old Jun 21, 2005, 3:52 PM   #3
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Hum F14 @ 1/400'th second, lots of DOF at the 40mm and 25mm lens focal lengths you used and fast enough to stop most sleeping kids :-)

Might try to reduce the F-Stop to try and blur the background (F8 or F5.6 would narrow it down a bit). Opening the aperture would also cause your shutter speed to increase.
Lowering you ISO from 400 would cause the shutter to slow down again, and reduce image noise. Lots of choices :-)

I'd try to use a reflector of some kind, (couple of cheap and effective options are a white umbrella from a 1$ store would work nicely, or a silver/gold reflector meant for a car window) to throw some light back into the face, cut down the high contrast and open it up.


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Old Jun 21, 2005, 8:57 PM   #4
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Use an editor if you need,like PS Elements(which I used as a learning tool for CS) or CS or Paint shop pro.I did a little bit of editing for you.Hope you dont mind.


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Old Jun 21, 2005, 9:26 PM   #5
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Use a little fill flash to pull the subject out of the background.

Take about 100 shots and hope to get 2 or 3 really good ones.

You have a really photogenic kid so all it's going to take is practice.
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Old Jun 22, 2005, 3:56 PM   #6
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I would suggest sticking to your creative modes (P,Tv,Av,M, Dep). This way the flash only pops up when you want it to and you have tons of control in regards to your exposure like iso, ap, shutter, etc.

I would also suggest you to practice tweaking with those settings to get your desired lighting until you feel more comfortable and move on to (actual) creative pictures.

Also, maybe you should try to notice your source of light. Notice all those shadows (although the shadows in the second picture cant be avoided by moving around). Maybe you want it... but people usually try to use a fill flash to get rid of that. The easiest thing for outdoor shots is to have the sun behind you, which will be around morning or evening.

And just like for everything else, practice practice practice.:|
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Old Jun 23, 2005, 10:57 AM   #7
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imho there's nothing wrong with the camera nor the mode you're shooting in. As one of the replies said, the composition needs work. My advise would be to have a look at as many people images you can and try to identify elements that make an image work and elements that dont.

u have a very cute daughter! When she's all dried up and the sun still strong, try taking her indoors and have her play near/around a window with as little stuff in the background as possible (or shoot as wide as the apature allows)

best of luck!



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Old Jun 23, 2005, 1:37 PM   #8
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IMHO you have too much light! You can do what Peter suggested by throwing more light at it either with a reflector (or flash) to bring out the shadow areas or turn down the light...

Most folks will use shades for this kind of shots, but you can move the playset to an area with less direct sun for example - Most digital (or even film) cameras can't handle this kind of dynamic range (see the darkness of the bushes vs the washout bright areas of the playset?)
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Old Jun 26, 2005, 11:04 AM   #9
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the attached image below remains highly personal to me (my daughter and nephew) and before u wonder how to do this with the Rebel XT, it was executed with a $350 Panasonic FX7 digital P&S (my wife's actually as I left the heavyweights at home).

1. wait for good light
2. engage your subject(s) without getting them to 'pose'
3. get in there, tighten up on filling out as much negative spaces as possible
4. the smallest change in one's position in relation to the subject and where the light is coming from will yeild surprising results/moods and changes in perspectives eg.... getting a foot or two nearer/lower/to the left/right etc

lots of others will be able to advise in many many other ways, but when u get the hang of it, try breaking some of these rules..... u'll surprise yourself!
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Old Jun 26, 2005, 9:12 PM   #10
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Excellent advice edng. All I could add to this (and it would be the last point) is to practice practice practice.
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